Wingstop UK is targeting a 50+ strong estate and £100m run rate turnover by the end of 2024, director Tom Grogan tells MCA.

The brand, which is run as a UK master franchise, with all locations operated by Lemon Pepper Holdings, has a pipeline of at least ten sites this year.

The 30-strong wings brand is opening its first retail park site in Beckton this month, Cardiff next month, with another eight to ten locations at least this year, including more in London and potentially as far afield as the South West.

Grogan says: “The brand’s got some great momentum now, our perspective is that over the next two years, we want to try and double the footprint of the brand.

“Right now, we sit at 30 restaurants. If we can get close to 50 or 60 restaurants by the end of next year, we’d be very happy.”

The Celeres Investments-backed concept works in a variety of locations, from high street units, to “big shiny” shopping malls like Trafford Centre.

“It’s fairly universal across the UK, from Glasgow, to Edinburgh, to London, to Bristol,” Grogan says. “The consumer likes what we’re doing. Everyone is aligned that there is a clear market opportunity here for Wingstop.”

Grogan founded the franchise business aged just 26 with partners Saul Lewin and Herman Sahota in 2017, with the first restaurant launching in 2018.

The trio were working in private equity and real estate when they identified an opportunity for a branded wing operator to come into the UK, sitting in the whitespace between KFC and Nando’s.

The UK brand skews heavily towards Gen Z culture, lifestyle and music, and eschews traditional marketing in favour of influencer inspired campaigns on YouTube and TikTok.

The US business has hailed the UK franchise is a model for “a blueprint for success” in its international growth strategy, taking a stake in the business.

In the first two months of 2023, Lemon Pepper, which is named after one of Wingstop’s seasonings, saw a 50% increase on like for like sales against 2022 trading.