Duff’s Famous Wings is taking its chicken wings to Texas.
The local restaurant chain, known for its chicken wings, has signed a deal to open its first franchise in Texas, in the affluent Dallas suburb of Southlake, said Jeffrey Feather, the president of Duff’s Franchise Group.
The Texas restaurant will be the first out-of-state franchise for Duff’s since it gained approval from the state about a year ago to begin franchising its restaurant concept. Duff’s has three restaurants in Toronto and four in the Buffalo Niagara region, including its first local franchise that opened this past summer in the Eastern Hills Mall.
The Texas group, Famous Wings Texas, has signed its franchise agreement, which includes the option to open multiple Duff’s locations, and hopes to have the Southlake restaurant open by early next year. “They’re hoping to get up to 10,” Feather said.
Ronald Peddicord, one of the partners in the Texas restaurant group, said he became familiar with Duff’s while living in Toronto for 10 years, not far from the restaurant’s Bayview Avenue location.
“My oldest son got to be kind of a connoisseur of wings,” he said. “Whenever we heard about a new place, we’d try it out and Duff’s wings sort of became our thing.”
About eight months ago, years after he had moved to Texas, a friend approached Peddicord about starting a restaurant, and their focus soon turned to chicken wings.
While there’s no shortage of wing places in Texas, Peddicord said they tend to be sports-oriented restaurants, such as Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooter’s. With Duff’s, Peddicord is looking to appeal more to families.
“We want to be a place where a mom, after a soccer game with her kids feels comfortable wheeling in and getting an order of wings,” he said.
He’s also going to play the “authentic” Buffalo chicken wing card. “This is a real Buffalo wing,” he said. “With Duff’s, it’s the wings to start with. We’re starting with authentic Buffalo wings.”
To further add to the Buffalo flavor, Peddicord plans to add fried bologna and beef on weck to the menu, although he said he still is struggling to find a Texas supplier who can make the salt- and caraway seed-encrusted kummelweck rolls properly.
Peddicord said he hopes to open three to five Duff’s franchises in Texas, initially in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs, over the next two years. “The long-term plan is ot have at least 10 open in Texas, probably adding in the one a year range.”
Feather said Duff’s still hopes to add franchises in other areas. “Our initial thought was that we’d go more locally – Syracuse, Rochester – that kind of thing,” he said. “We still would love someone in the Syracuse and Rochester area, a little closer.”
Duff’s main restaurant is located on Sheridan Drive in Amherst, with two other locations in Orchard Park and Depew and the Eastern Hills franchise in Clarence.