Buffalo Wild Wings Woos Diners, One Beer at a Time

Buffalo Wild Wings beer
Tony Tribble, Invision/AP
By Tom Rotunno

Forget about Bloomin' Onions or boneless wings, for many consumers, the choice of where to dine often comes down to a different factor: which restaurant has the best booze.

"Alcoholic beverages can be a key driver of traffic, differentiation, and loyalty," said David Decker, president of Consumer Edge Insight. According to the firm, two factors that keep customers coming back are "selection" and "pricing."

Consumer Edge Insight recently surveyed restaurant customers to find out which casual-dining spots generated the most loyalty with their alcoholic beverages.

Taking the top spot for "selection" was Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), with 29 percent of those surveyed saying they were "most likely to visit it most often due to its good selection of alcoholic beverages."

Applebee's (DIN) took the second spot, with 24 percent, and Outback Steakhouse (BLMN) and T.G.I. Friday's tied for third place with 22 percent each.

Prices also keep customers coming back to Buffalo Wild Wings.

When asked which casual-dining brand they were "most likely to visit most often due to its good prices of alcoholic beverages," Buffalo Wild Wings came out on top with 30 percent. Chili's (EAT) was No. 2 at 23 percent, and Ruby Tuesday (RT) was third with 22 percent.

Buffalo Wild Wings has always made alcohol a part of its experience, even making it part of its tagline: "Wings.Beer.Sports."

The chain is the No. 1 account for more than 50 different beer brands and recently launched Game Changer, a new beer in a partnership with Redhook Brewery. Priced between cheaper domestic lagers and pricier craft beers, Game Changer became the fourth-most-popular draft beer at company-owned locations within two weeks of its release.

"Among casual-dining restaurants, Buffalo Wild Wings is seeing the greatest positive effect in terms of building customer loyalty with its alcohol offerings," Decker said. "There are many steps other restaurants can take to improve their alcoholic beverage programs to increase traffic, sales and customer loyalty."

Among the restaurants with room for improvement was Hooters, which 46 percent of those surveyed cited as the place they would visit more often if the chain offered a better selection of alcoholic beverages.

Lone Star Steakhouse had the highest number of customers saying they would visit more often if the chain offered better prices on alcoholic beverages.

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My money will not grace the cash register at any of them because they are a gun free zone. I know my 4 to 5 hundred a yr don't mean anything to them but. if every that carries a gun doesn't go there too them we are looking at millions, (Stick that in your pipe and smoke it)

September 28 2013 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I went to Buffalo Wild Wings last Sunday to watch the 4:00 NFL games and they were OUT of Corona Light Draft AND Corona bottles. WTF plus their boneless wings suck big time....

September 22 2013 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

BWW can keep their beer and their wings until they lower their ridiculous prices. $12 for 12 wings, give me a break. For $12 I can buy several packages of chicken, with plenty of meat on them- not just some scraggly wings.

September 22 2013 at 1:46 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

BWW's food sucks tho... Got a salad and it came with plastic utensils on a plastic plate because they ran out of real plates and utensils... $10.00 for mediocre salad food? I think not!

September 22 2013 at 1:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

BWW food made me and all my friends sick during a recent fantasy football draft party. I had bubble guts for 2 days and so did my wife. Beer was cold, food was processed junk. I wont eat there again. Beers? probably.

September 22 2013 at 12:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Amazing and very, very SAD how many people's lives revolve around alcohol. I guess reality really is too much for many to handle.

September 22 2013 at 11:32 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Buffalo Wild Wings knows how to do things right! That\'s why they\'re successful!

September 22 2013 at 11:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd never eat or drink there because it is a gun free zone

September 22 2013 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And this is why I won't bring my family there. I asked the manager on duty why there are Police Officers at the door. He advised the restaurant is a bar first and the food comes second. Sorry, don't need my children around a bunch of drunks.

September 22 2013 at 10:32 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Buffalo Wild Wings is about the worse joint in town..Way overpriced food and snotty wait and bar people....managers are Nazi's !...My friends and I vow never to embark on that rip-off crap diner again !...But, you go ahead...Uggggh !

September 22 2013 at 10:00 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply