Amran Wingers'

Wingers aims to take advantage of untapped markets for the chicken category, with plans for expansion further north and an opportunity in high footfall travel locations.

The Midlands-based chicken wing franchise made its train station debut earlier this year at Birmingham International and has also opened its first bar spin off, Wingers ‘The Taproom’ in Harborne High Street.

With seven more sites currently in legals, Wingers is on its way to achieving a goal of 20 stores by the end of 2024. Co-founder Amran Sunner told MCA that the brand is particularly enthusiastic about the potential to grow in Scotland.

“I think we’ll sell areas like Scotland that are crying out for more of our sort of products. Really, I don’t think many chicken brands have tapped into that area as much as we would have thought,” he adds. 

With further plans to expand in North West and North East England, he says, “The North has quite a bit of competition in high traffic areas. But I think it would be good to branch our brand out there as well, because it is buzzing up north. We find probably more so than the Midlands.”

Further across the UK, he sees travel hubs as a key opportunity to spread brand awareness: “Birmingham International was a bit of a gamble because it took over a year to actually get through legals. It has been quite a massive process, but we think for brand awareness and traffic that goes through the station, it is a great advertising board for the brand.”

The new location, which opened at the end of February, is strategically positioned to capture foot traffic from the train station, the nearby airport, and the NEC venue, he says.

Birmingham Internationsl

Wingers is also experimenting with new spin-offs like the Taproom, which combines its signature wings with a bar setting, with a Wingers Pilsner created specifically for the location. Discussing the concept, Sunner said, “It was an idea that we actually thought about when we first started Wingers.

“We were inspired by the popularity of wings with beers in America, especially with sports-watching as well.” While the Taproom concept is not expected to roll out as aggressively as the main Wingers stores, it remains a valuable addition to their portfolio. “It’s a completely different operation, and we are definitely considering adding some more in the future,” he adds.

Wingers’ expansion strategy has shifted to include a diverse mix of locations, from neighbourhood spots to high-footfall high streets and shopping centres. “We’ve now got more of a varied focus,” says Sunner.

This varied approach ensures that Wingers can cater to different markets and build a broad customer base. “We know our product sells well and people love what we do. I think it’s just good to let other areas know that we’re filling up those gaps across the country. We’re just excited to show people what we’re about.”

In a growing chicken market in the UK, Sunner is keen to empahise the business’ British roots.

“We have had people walk into our store sometimes and think we’re an American franchise, but we’re not. And one thing for us, we really want to promote that we are a home-grown UK-based fried chicken brand, that wants to be national really rather than the American brands that are coming over.”