Buffalo Wild Wings is bringing boneless to its Tuesday deals

The company has a couple reasons for shifting away from traditional wings.
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Buffalo Wild Wings has always tried to own Tuesdays, offering big deals on traditional wings (most recently half-price, all day).

But the restaurant chain is going to make some tweaks. Namely, less emphasis on the bone.

Buffalo Wild Wings said Wednesday it will shift the Tuesday deals to focus on boneless wings. It'll be a "buy one, get one" offer on boneless wings, set to roll out to all the company-owned locations in the weeks ahead, CEO and President Sally Smith said in a conference call.

Smith expects the franchise B-Dubs locations to follow suit with the boneless offer as well.

Why the change?

Buffalo Wild Wings had what Smith called a "disappointing" second quarter of 2017 money-wise. (The Motley Fool breaks it down further here.)

This announcement of a shift away from traditional wings on Tuesdays came out of that news.

The reasons? Boneless is cheaper and more popular.

Regular bone-in wings are getting more and more expensive. Smith noted the cost of traditional wings is at a "historically high" price – $2.05 per pound in the second quarter, up 11 cents compared to the same time last year. And B-Dubs expects that price to inflate further.

On top of that, customers are eating more boneless wings than traditional bone-in. James Schmidt, the company's COO, said boneless outsold traditional in 2016. And other deals like the boneless "BOGO Blitz" have been well-received, Schmidt added later.

They've done this boneless promo in 50 restaurants and are encouraged by the results, but would normally do more testing before rolling it out wider.

There's already a boneless promotion on Thursdays at Buffalo Wild Wings. Schmidt said that will stay in place "for the moment," but they're looking at changing it up for Thursdays.

What else is going on with Buffalo Wild Wings?

B-Dubs just opened its first small, quick-serve location, and it's in the Twin Cities. A second one will open in August. The company will be keeping an eye on how those do.

The execs also pointed out an emphasis on a new loyalty program and takeout/delivery options going forward, as well as the negative impact a shortened NBA and NHL playoffs had on business this year.

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