Buffalo Wild Wings made a name for itself as the place to sit down, eat food, drink beer and watch sports for a few hours.
But the restaurant chain is going a totally different direction for a new pilot program in the Twin Cities.
B-Dubs Express will be a smaller-format restaurant focused on quick orders, like takeout or delivery, the chain explained in a news release. And it'll start with a couple test restaurants right here in BWW's home state.
What's on the menu?
Both traditional and boneless wings, chicken tenders, a chicken sandwich, burger, salads, buffalo macaroni and cheese, and some shareable/side items. There will also be beer and wine available.
Delivery orders will be done through DoorDash.
There will still be TVs with sports on. But there will only be enough seating for 35-50 guests in the 2,500-square-foot space.
Why? Because young people aren't eating there
This pilot is being announced just a couple weeks after Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith wrote this in a letter to shareholders (as shared by Business Insider):
"Millennial consumers are more attracted than their elders to cooking at home, ordering delivery from restaurants and eating quickly, in fast-casual or quick-serve restaurants."
SFGATE reported similar brands – like Applebee's, TGI Fridays and Ruby Tuesday – are facing the same problems.
Not that tossing out a new fast-casual restaurant is a guaranteed hit. Buffalo Wild Wings recently shut down its two PizzaRev locations in Minnesota, and canceled plans for an expansion.
2 B-Dubs Express locations to start
There will be two test pilot locations, both in the Twin Cities suburbs and expected to open later this summer.
One is slated for Edina, at 7529 France Ave. S. The other will take a space in Hopkins at 525 Blake Rd. N.
Both are company-owned, not franchises.
"These first two locations in Minnesota will provide a great opportunity for us to test an alternative format and gain learnings as we continue to look for ways to meet the changing needs of today’s consumers," said Buffalo Wild Wings Vice President of Market Development Todd Kronebusch in the announcement.