A chicken wing restaurant is a niche restaurant where chicken wings are the main delicacies that are served to customers. A chicken wing restaurant may also sell other delicacies, snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and of course takeout meals.

Food and beverage sales in the restaurant and food service industry are projected to total $789 billion in 2022, up 19.7% from 2020. As of June 2022, 39 states and the District of Columbia had reopened to 100% indoor dining capacity; 11 states and Puerto Rico are open at varying capacities ranging from 50% to 80%.

Available data shows that there are 15.1 million restaurant industry employees in the United States and 1.6 million new restaurant jobs will be created by 2028. The restaurant workforce makes up 10% of the overall U.S. workforce.

Steps on How to Start a Chicken Wing Restaurant Business

  1. Conduct Market Research

Starting a chicken wing restaurant business requires reliable market research to be able to maximize profits from the business. Please note that the first step in the market research process for your chicken wing restaurant business should be to develop market-based research questions in line with your overall business goals and objectives.

In this regard, you should source information that will help you maximize your business, tell you what your potential market will be looking out for from a chicken wing restaurant business, and also help you operate your chicken wing restaurant business with less stress and of course, build the business to profitability.

a. Who is the Target Market for Chicken Wing Restaurant Business?
  • Everyone who resides in and around the location where you have your chicken wing restaurant
  • Event and party planners
  • Tourists and visitors.
b. Is Restaurant a Profitable Business?

Yes, the chicken wing restaurant business is very profitable. The market size of the chain restaurants industry that chicken restaurants are a part of in the US has grown 2.2% per year on average between 2017 and 2022.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no niche ideas when it comes to chicken wing restaurants because chicken wing restaurants are a niche idea in the chain restaurant industry.

d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Duff’s Famous Wings of Orchard Park
  • House Of Wings
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Wing King
  • America’s Best Wings
  • Boneheads Wing Bar
  • Wing-itz Portsmouth
  • Wing Supreme
  • US Fried Chicken
  • Original Hooters
  • Bayou Hot Wings
  • Koko Wings
  • Wing Basket
  • Hot Sauce and Panko To Go
  • Big Kahuna Wings – Farragut
  • O! Wing Plus
  • Winged It
  • Fire Wings Westheimer
  • Ray’s Wings & Pizza/Ray’s Original Buffalo Wings
  • Wings ‘N More® Restaurant and Bar.
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Chicken Wing Restaurant Business?

Yes, there are county and state regulations and zoning laws for the chicken wing restaurant business in the United States. Please note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets the federal Food Code. However, the FDA doesn’t oversee individual chicken wing restaurant businesses. Instead, the various states use the Food Code as the basis for their food codes. They may adopt its rules, interpret them differently or set their own rules.

Please note that in the United States, you are required to follow your own state’s foodservice code. Visit the FDA website for a list of food service codes by state. Use this to find the state authority handling restaurants and bars and view the laws that apply in your state.

f. Is There a Franchise for Chicken Wing Restaurant Business?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for chicken wing restaurants, and here are some of them;

  • KFC
  • Native Grill and Wings
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Church’s Chicken
  • East Coast Wings + Grill
  • El Pollo Loco
  • Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken
  • Native Grill & Wings
  • Pollo Campero
  • Chicken Hot Wings
  • The Buffalo Spot Wings
  • East Coast Wings + Grill
  • Wing It On
  • Wings and Rings
  • Atomic Wings.
g. What Do You Need to Start a Chicken Wing Restaurant Business?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • A Good Restaurant facility
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Suppliers of chicken wings and other food ingredients and drinks
  • Employees
  • Startup Capital
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name 

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.

Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a chicken wing restaurant business are;

Creative Chicken Wing Restaurant Business Name ideas
  • Rosa Parks© Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc.
  • Dan Ricketts® Chicken Wing Restaurants, LLC
  • Lucas Arthur© Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc.
  • Wing Nest® Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc.
  • Maria Martins™ Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc.
  • Good Times™ Chicken Wing Restaurants, LLC.
  • Dame Pauline© Chicken Wing Restaurants, LLC
  • Wing Court® Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc.
  • Sean Macron© Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc.
  • Tessie Bee© Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc.
  • Wing Buff® Chicken Wing Restaurants, LLC
  • Republic Wings™ Chicken Wing Restaurants, LLC
  • Peter Pan© Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc.
  • Wing Topia® Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc.
  • Hunger Go™ Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc.
  • Merlyn Astort™ Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc.
  • Wing Queen© Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc.
  • Chef Nations® Chicken Wing Restaurants, LLC
  • Fun Wings© Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc.
  • Kingfisher© Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Restaurant?

There are several options when it comes to the business structure of a chicken wing restaurant, but the one that most players in this line of business consider is an LLC. It is common to consider an LLC because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits.

Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
  • Choose a Name for Your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an LLC operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Chicken Wing Restaurant Business?
  • General Business License
  • Health and Safety Permit
  • Food Handler’s License
  • Liquor license
  • Health and trade license
  • Lift clearance license
  • Zonal Permits
  • Signage Permit
  • Operational State Facility Inspections
  • A music license if you want to play live, recorded, or stream music
  • A dumpster placement permit that specifies where you can put your dumpster
  • Sidewalk permits if you plan to offer outside seating
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Chicken Wing Restaurant Business?

These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to open a chicken wing restaurant;

  • Clean Health Certificate
  • Food handler Certification
  • Catering Training Certificate
e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Chicken Wing Restaurant Business?
  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Business and liability insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit and Building Approval
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document
  • Contract Document
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering opening a chicken wing restaurant business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Chicken Wing Restaurant Business?

There is no clear-cut startup cost for a chicken wing restaurant, but available data shows that the cost for a small to medium restaurant can range from $150,000 to over $450,000.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Chicken Wing Restaurant?
  • Business Registration Fees – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $3,300.
  • Marketing, Branding and Promotions – $2,000.
  • Business Consultant Fee – $2,500.
  • Insurance – $8,400.
  • Rent/Lease – $150,000.
  • Other start-up expenses like phone and utility deposits ($1,800).
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
  • Start-up Inventory – $35,000
  • Store Equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $1,750
  • Furnishing and Equipping the Restaurant – $75,000
  • Website: $600
  • Opening party: $3,000
  • Miscellaneous: $2,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Chicken Wing Restaurant Business?
  • The size of the chicken wing restaurant
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The type of facility
  • The type of foods and drinks retailed in the restaurant and additional service offerings
  • The cost of branding, promotion, and marketing the restaurant
  • The cost of furnishing and equipping the chicken wing restaurant
  • The cost of the insurance policy covers
  • The cost of registering the business
  • Source of your chicken wings, food ingredients, supplies, and ongoing expenses
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
  • The grand opening of the chicken wing restaurant business
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

It is not compulsory to build a new facility for your chicken wing restaurant business, but if you have the required finance, it will pay you to build your facility. The truth is that building or reconstructing a facility will help you come up with a facility that will perfectly fit into your overall business goals and vision.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Chicken Wing Restaurant Business?
  • Supplies (inventory expenses)
  • Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage, and software renewal fees et al)
  • Rent
  • Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner) – $55,000 Per Year
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager – $38,000 Per Year
  • Restaurant Manager – $38,000 Per Year
  • Accountant/Cashier – $33,000 Per Year
  • Chefs (Cooks) – $30,000 Per Year
  • Waiters/Waitress – $26,000 Per Year
  • Cleaners – $25,000 Per Year
  • Security Guard -$24,000 Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Chicken Wing Restaurant Business?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Wing Court® Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc. is a standard and registered niche restaurant business that will be located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. We have been able to lease a facility along a major road that can fit into the kind of classy restaurant we intend to launch and the facility is located on a corner–piece property.

Wing Court® Chicken Wing Restaurants, Inc. will operate dine-in, takeout, and delivery of hand-cut wings served with over 25 sauces, plus salads, wine, and beer, in basic digs with a deck.

b. Products and Service
  • Oven-baked chicken wings
  • Grilled chicken wings
  • Beverage sales
c. Mission Statement

Our mission is to establish a chicken wing restaurant business that will be known as a wing specialist offering American grill fare in casual, music-themed digs decked out in memorabilia.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to become the leading chicken wing brand in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of a chicken wing restaurant business are to provide an outlet where people can buy and eat chicken wings, food, and drinks.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Accountants/Cashiers
  • Chefs (Cooks)
  • Waiters/Waitresses
  • Cleaners
  • Security Guard

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
Strength:
  • Ideal location for a chicken wing restaurant business
  • Highly experienced and qualified employees and management
  • Access to finance from business partners
  • Availability of different types of chicken wing delicacies
  • Moderately priced menu
  • Availability of table service and counter service
  • Reliable and efficient inventory management system.
Weakness:
  • Financial constraints may restrict the publicity and branding of the business
  • A new business that will be competing with well-established chicken wing restaurants and other restaurants in the city.
  • Inability to retain our highly experienced and qualified employees longer than we want during the teething stage of the business.
Opportunities:
  • A rise in the number of people who would want to eat chicken wings for health reasons because chicken wings are a rich source of protein, as well as dietary fats for energy and brain health. Plus, chicken wings offer additional essential nutrients like iron, potassium, and B vitamins.
  • Online market, new services, new technology, and of course the opening of new markets.
Threat:
  • The arrival of a new chicken wing restaurant or any other restaurant that serves chicken wings within our market space
  • Economic uncertainty
  • Liability problems
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could change its regulatory status and decide to enforce strict regulations that can strangulate new businesses like ours.
b. How Do Restaurants Make Money?

Chicken wing restaurants make money by selling the following products;

  • Oven-baked chicken wings
  • Grilled chicken wings
  • Beverage sales
  • Franchise
c. Payment Options
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Introduce your chicken wing restaurant by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to construction companies, religious organizations, clubs, corporate organizations, schools, households, and other key stakeholders throughout the city where the chicken wing restaurant is located.
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
  • Create a basic website for your business to give your business an online presence
  • Directly market chicken wing restaurant.
  • Provide discount days for your customers
  • Advertise our business in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Product/Service?

The price of a plate of chicken wings will depend on the size and other add-ons, but on average, chicken wings cost from $2.31 per pound to $3.55.

b. How Much Profit Do Chicken Wing Restaurant Owners Make a Year?

It depends, but available reports show that on average, chicken wing restaurant owners make anywhere from $31,000 a year to $155,000. They also estimate that the national average is around $65,000 a year. Chron.com estimates a similar range, between $29,000 and $153,000 per year.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the chicken wing restaurant
  • The types of related food, snacks, and drinks retailed in the restaurant
  • The location of the chicken wing restaurant
  • The management style of the chicken wing restaurant
  • The business approach of the chicken wing restaurant
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the chicken wing restaurant.
  • The number of years the chicken wing restaurant is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Chicken Wing Restaurant?

In the restaurant industry, a general rule of thumb is to keep food cost percentages around 28-32%. However, this is more of a guideline and less of a universal rule.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast for a chicken wing restaurant. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;

  • First Fiscal Year: $350,000
  • Second Fiscal Year: $520,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: $1.2 million
  1. Set Up your Shop 

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for the Chicken Wing Restaurant?
  • The demography of the location especially as it relates to families
  • The demand for chicken wings in the location
  • The purchasing power of residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location and the road network
  • The number of chicken wing restaurants, and regular restaurants in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open a Chicken Wing Restaurant?
  • New York City, New York
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Los Angeles, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Palm Beach, Florida
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Washington DC
  • Chicago, Illinois
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Chicken Wing Restaurant?

As expected, before you can open a restaurant, you should budget and buy chairs and dining tables, POS and receipt issuing machines, storage hardware (bins, rack, shelves, food case), counter area equipment (countertop, sink, ice machine, etc.),

(Flat Screen TVs, sound system, DVD players, gas cooker, deep fryers, deep freezers, fridge, blenders, store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage), serving utensils (plates, ashtrays, glasses, flatware), fancy lightening, amongst others.

  1. Hire Employees

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard restaurant, you should make plans to hire a competent chief executive officer, human resource and admin manager, restaurant manager, chef (cook), waiters and waitresses, cleaners, and security guard.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

No chicken wing restaurant opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening party if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party.

The bottom line is that with a proper launching of the restaurant, you will officially inform people in your city that the chicken wing restaurant is open for business.

a. What Makes a Chicken Wing Restaurant Business Successful?
  • Choose a good location and facility to launch the business
  • Make sure you offer different ways of preparing chicken wings (give your customers options)
  • Throw a party before officially opening the chicken wing restaurant business
  • Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your chicken wing restaurant
  • Leverage all available online and offline platforms to promote your chicken wing restaurant business
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Chicken Wing Restaurant?
  • The restaurant is open for the day’s work
  • The kitchen staff prepares the chicken wings, food, and snacks
  • The serving areas, serving wares, chairs, and tables are properly arranged
  • Customers are attended to
  • Stocks are taken and reports are written and submitted
  • The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Chicken Wing Restaurant Business?
  • Excellent culinary skills
  • Excellent customer services skills
  • Interpersonal skill
  • Accounting and bookkeeping skills
  • Business management skills
  • Bargaining skill
  • Work experience in a restaurant environment or niche restaurant
  • Experience in managing people
  • Experience in business administration
  • Experience in preparing a wide variety of chicken wings and related delicacies.