Focus on families

Native Grill & Wings, Whataburger work to grow business with Hispanic consumers

Jun 15, 2016

The average percentage of Hispanic customers at Native Grill & Wings locations is 31 percent, with some locations as high as 83 percent. So, appealing to Hispanic customers was a no brainer for this 30-unit chain with restaurants in Arizona, Texas, Montana and South Dakota.

“We are all about producing the right thing to the right demographics, “ said Cynthia Velasco, marketing manager for Native Grill & Wings.

Hispanic customers NPD surveyed said they aren’t finding enough of the flavors they crave on menus. Respondents said they are seeking more citrus (lemon/lime, orange), a Mexican/Latin/Spanish flavor influence, cilantro, jalapeño, chocolate, healthful options, and hot and spicy flavors. Hispanic customers also indicated that they are not happy with the choices and quality of beverages on menus.

Native Grill & Wings has long targeted menu items that appeal to Hispanic customers’ tastes, such as Jalapeño Wings, Habanero Mango Wings and Honey Chipotle Wings, and continues to keep Hispanic consumers top of mind when testing new products.

While the right food and good service is key, also playing an important role for Hispanic restaurant-goers are children, NPD found. In the year ended December 2015, 43 percent of restaurant visits made by “English-oriented” Hispanics were parties with children and 42 percent of visits made by Spanish-oriented Hispanic were parties with children, compared to just 30 percent for non-Hispanics.

“Knowing they are family oriented … the flavors they wants to see … provides a lot of opportunity to attract them,” said Riggs.

In an effort to appeal to Hispanic families, in January, Native Grill & Wings launched Feast Mode, family-sized meals featuring a large Caesar salad, a whole pizza, and a choice of wings, chicken strips or boneless chicken. Since launching the meal deals, the chain says it has definitely seen an increase in sales.

“We’ve always been good with big groups. We figured it was finally time we put it on the menu,” said Velasco.

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Native Grill & Wings to Open New Location in Gilbert

Wing Serving Restaurant Provides Individually Sauced Wings

June 03, 2016 (FranchisePOD.com) CHANDLER, AZ – Native Grill & Wings, an award winning Arizona restaurant chain known for its 20+ wing flavors that guests can order by the individual wing, is opening a new location in Gilbert later this summer.

The new restaurant will be located at 4341 East Baseline Road, and will be taking over the former space of the Blue Lemon café. Native Grill & Wings CEO Dan Chaon is excited to continue to grow the brand at home in Arizona.

“Native Grill & Wings has truly become an Arizona staple,” said Chaon. “We hope to see the city remain a hub for chicken wing lovers who have remained devoted to the Native name for decades.”

With decades of experience in the restaurant franchise industry, Chaon plans to keep Native Grill & Wings at the top of Arizona’s food chain, and turn the brand into a national powerhouse in full-service restaurants.

Native Grill & Wings (or, “Native,” as the regulars called it) focuses on food and being family-friendly unlike competitors such as Hooters, Twin Peaks and Buffalo Wild Wings. The polished sports grill proudly offers 20 wing flavors – from Strawberry Hot to Ancho Chile Lime, Asian Garlic to Honey Chipotle – that guests can order by the individual wing, as well as an extensive menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads and more. Most of the sauces and rubs can be used to customize other menu items.

The restaurants are divided into a bar and restaurant, with approximately 30-40 flat screen TVs throughout, offering sports coverage for families and serious fans, and a customer base spanning all generations – baby boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials.

Native Grill & Wings Launches New Tech Tactics for 2016

Native has implemented WorkItem.com for efficient workplace structure and to better assist customer relations issues.

May 31st, 2016

When choosing a food costing and inventory control program, Native selected Crunchtime to best accommodate franchisees

“Our needs were simple—we needed to give our franchisees and management teams a tool that allowed them to see, control, and gauge their purchasing and inventory systems,” said Native Grill & Wings IT/System Manager Stephen Snyder.

Native transitioned to the NCR’s Aloha POS system, and a partnership with QSR Automations for a kitchen display that will improve food quality and service speed. The Olo online ordering system boosts take-out sales, improves order accuracy, and provides insight to geo-target marketing efforts. The online ordering and kitchen display systems are set to launch later this year.

Native also introduced its Mobile Loyalty App in 2015 with its partnership with Punchh. “The mobile loyalty app delivered a robust data set that told us more about our guests then we ever could have imagined,” said Snyder. “Our loyalty program also gave us a channel to provide offers and discounts to our guests, and track their redemption rates.”

Arizona Foodie

Final Cut: Native Brings New Menu Items To Native Grill & Wings

June 7, 2016 Rheana Techapinyawat

As a native Arizonan raised in Mesa, Native New Yorker was THE local wing stop after a high school football game or where we would gather our group of friends for a burger and fries. Native, as we all called it, has been in Arizona for decades and you can imagine my nostalgia when I was invited to the Final Cut: Native competition held in April earlier this year. It was such a pleasure meeting the Native team and seeing the test kitchen that created all the wings I used to devour as a teen.

Held at their company headquarter in Chandler, Final Cut: Native was an employee-lead culinary competition across all 30 locations in Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, and Texas. Six semi-finalists (four from Arizona and two from Montana) were invited to HQ to battle in the best burger/sandwich and best cocktail categories, using only ingredients found in Native’s kitchens and bars. My role as a judge, along with Taryn Jeffries of Phoenix Bites, Dave Tyda of Eater AZ, Judy Harper of Phoenix Magazine, and Kelly Fulcher and Cynthia Velasco of the Native marketing team, was delicious yet it was tough to pick just one favorite from each category. Ultimately, a decision was made and the winners of the competition are as follows: Click here to continue reading

Native Showdown

FINAL CUT: NATIVE HOSTS SHOWDOWN FOR SPOT ON MENU

Posted on: May 10th, 2016 by Taryn Jeffries

Have you ever wondered how big restaurants research and add new menu items? As someone who doesn’t do a lot of cooking myself, I have always wondered how these things happen and I was able to get a really fun sneak peek at the process, recently.

Native Grill & Wings recently held a competition of sorts with their employees, encouraging them to submit new recipes based on ingredients that could be found in their kitchens. They opened up the competition to sandwiches and cocktails and all of the imagination their employees could muster. While they received many submissions, the executive team had the difficult decision of whittling the options down to three sandwich options and three drink options. At that point, they invited the creators of those recipes to come to the corporate headquarters to create their dishes and have a panel of media members to decide their favorites.

My job does not suck!

One of my favorite parts of the evening was walking into all of the great energy of the test kitchen. There were people everywhere and in all corners of the kitchen; heads down focused on their dishes and a lot of camaraderie between the team members. The submission came from three Arizona locations and two from Missoula, Montana (which had just opened up a week before the competition). Click here to continue reading.

Final Cut: Native

Native Grill & Wings Hosts Employee Led Culinary Competition

INDUSTRY HEADLINES // APRIL 15, 2016

Native Grill & Wings, an award-winning Arizona restaurant chain known for its 20-plus wing flavors that guests can order by the individual wing, has launched its own personal culinary skills competition. Final Cut: Native will consist of six chosen employees battling the reward of their dish or drink to appear on menus nationwide.

Final Cut: Native will be held on April 25 at the Native corporate test kitchen in Chandler, Arizona. The dishes and drinks were created by Native employees across the country. Six semifinalists include four from Native’s home state of Arizona and two from Montana. The contestants will have the full use of Native’s test kitchen to create their culinary masterpieces live for the event.

“We have some of the most creative and talented employees at our restaurants across the country and we wanted to invite them to cut their own way into our menu,” says CEO Dan Chaon. “Our six chosen semi-finalists represent what the company is all about and we eagerly await to add the winning dish and drink so our loyal customers across the country can enjoy them.”

The employees were given the challenge to create a dish, broken down into burgers or sandwiches, using only ingredients found in their Native location. Similarly with the drinks category, employees could only source ingredients found behind their Native bar. A winner of each category will be chosen by voting from Native corporate employees as well as media members from Arizona.

“I’m still in disbelief that I will be traveling from Montana to Native’s headquarters to create my dish,” adds Justin Dooley, employee of Native Grill & Wings Missoula. “I’m going for the win but I know the competition will be fierce.”

Tucson IV

Native Grill & Wings Opens Fourth Tucson Location

INDUSTRY HEADLINES FSR //APRIL 12, 2016

Native Grill & Wings, an award-winning Arizona restaurant chain known for its 20-plus wing flavors that guests can order by the individual wing, is set to open its fourth location in Tucson on April 18.

The new store located at 10255 East Old Vail Road in Tucson is owned by franchise connoisseur Brad Williams. He also acquired part-ownership of the Native Grill & Wings franchise in fall 2015, and just recently opened his first location in Missoula, Montana.

“I am excited to continue bringing a staple brand like Native Grill & Wings to the people of Tucson,” Williams says. “We hope to see the city remain a hub for chicken wing lovers who have remained loyal to the Native name for decades.”

Williams is no rookie to the franchise industry, owning 15 Freddy’s Steakburgers and Frozen Custards locations with development rights for 50 more in Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Arizona. His first Montana Native Grill & Wings location opened February 1, and he plans on opening between four and six more in the future.

Native Grill & Wings focuses on food and being family-friendly. The polished sports grill offers 20 wing flavors—from Strawberry Hot to Ancho Chile Lime, Asian Garlic to Honey Chipotle—that guests can order by the individual wing, as well as an extensive menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and more. Most of the sauces and rubs can be used to customize other menu items.

The restaurants are divided into a bar and restaurant, with approximately 30 to 40 flat screen TVs throughout, offering sports coverage for families and serious fans, and a customer base spanning all generations—baby boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials.

“We’ve primarily followed the hub-and-spoke model of expansion, conquering our local market first, and then expanding into additional cities and states throughout the nation,” says CEO Dan Chaon. “We’re incredibly proud of the recognition and iconic status we’ve received in our own backyard over the past three decades and we hope to see the brand continue to grow more and more in Arizona.

Boston Bound!

Native Grill and Wings Is En Route to Boston

by

Get ready for 20 types of wings.

An Arizona-based restaurant is eyeing New England expansion, according to Boston Restaurant Talk. Native Grill and Wings has included Boston in its plans for an additional eight franchise locations, along with Boise, Dallas, and Tulsa, to name a few.

According to the restaurant’s personal history, as explained on its website, the concept was born after Buffalo, New York natives Floyd and Judy Anderson left the Northeast and moved to Arizona to open a pizza place called Native New Yorker. They soon realized the arid South lacked the spicy punch of Buffalo wings that their hometown so loved, and they reportedly became the first to bring the concept to the state.

Years later, Native was rebranded as “Native Grill and Wings” as it expanded beyond the borders of Arizona. The company’s CEO has wide expansion plans, according to Nation’s Restaurant News,including a return to the Northeast, where it will bring its 20 varieties of wings, along with sliders, burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, and more to feed the Boston area.

Native Plans Expansion

Why this Phoenix-area restaurant chain’s plans for expansion meant ditching its New York name

Updated

For 35 years, the former Native New Yorker pizzeria was prosperous in the Valley. That’s because when people went to the restaurant, they thought of it simply as “native,” sans the New Yorker part altogether.

“The culture we found was people saying, ‘This is my native,’ and leaving out the ‘New Yorker’ part,” said Dan Chaon, Native Grill & Wings new CEO. “It’s native to Gilbert, native to Chandler, to Phoenix.”

So when Chaon and his team were looking to expand outside of Native’s 27 Arizona locations, they figured it would be best to ditch the “New Yorker” name and go with Native Grill & Wings, the current name of the chain.

“What does that name mean to that potential customer out-of-state?” Chaon said of the restaurant’s market research. “Everyone said ‘native.’ People resonated with that.”

Chaon, who had worked with major restaurant chains like Chili’s, knew that to make the brand successful nationally, customers needed to connect to the eatery on a personal level.

Native Grill & Wings expanded to San Antonio; Rapid City, South Dakota; and Missoula, Montana, making sure to personalize each restaurant with features like murals representing each location — Missoula’s mural, for example, highlights the University of Montana.

“We want to give them their own individuality to be part of the native family and culture,” Chaon said.

That method has put Native Grill in a position to open eight other franchised locations within the next several years in cities like Tucson and Yuma, Boise, Boston, Tulsa and Dallas.

Chaon said Native Grill is aiming to have a steady opening of 20 to 25 locations a year, both with franchised and corporate locations.

“We’re looking at Kingman, Prescott, and the East Valley for corporate stores in Arizona,” Chaon said, adding they would like to add five to seven more Arizona locations. “We think a corporate store in the panhandle area like Kansas would do really well too.”

Native Grill’s new brand and new sense of personalization, along with other initiatives like an app specifically made for restaurant orderings and bookings, has put the restaurant in the big leagues, Chaon said.

“People are looking at us as a great competitor to Buffalo Wild Wings,” Chaon said. “We do really well with families and parties.”

Native Grill & Wings Launches March Wing Mayhem

College basketball themed promo will give away a custom Man (or Woman) Cave

February 17, 2016 // Franchising.com // CHANDLER, AZ – Native Grill & Wings, an award winning Arizona-based restaurant chain known for its 20 wing flavors that guests can order by the individual wing, has invited its guests to participate in its March Mayhem event, taking place throughout the NCAA Men’s Final Four Championship.

Through the Native Grill & Wings website, customers are invited to fill out their NCAA Men’s Final Four Championship bracket and enter themselves to win a Man (or Woman) Cave valued at $4,000. No purchase is necessary for the contest, although participants are asked to download the Native mobile app.

Guests earn points for each correctly picked matchup, and point value for each game will increase as the tournament progresses through its rounds

To coincide with the tournament and contest, starting March 1, Native Grill & Wings will feature 22 oz. drafts of Miller Lite and Coors Light on special throughout the tournament.

“The NCAA Men’s Final Four Championship is the most exciting sports tournament of the year and we wanted to give our customers a few extra reasons to watch the games at a Native location, alongside the chance to win a personal arena for all their sporting needs,” said CEO of Native Grill & Wings, Dan Chaon.

Native Grill & Wings (or, “Native,” as the regulars called it) focuses on food and being family-friendly unlike competitors such as Hooters, Twin Peaks and Buffalo Wild Wings. The polished sports grill proudly offers 20 wing flavors – from Strawberry Hot to Ancho Chile Lime, Asian Garlic to Honey Chipotle – that guests can order by the individual wing, as well as an extensive menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads and more. Most of the sauces and rubs can be used to customize other menu items.

The restaurants are divided into a bar and restaurant, with approximately 30-40 flat screen TVs throughout, offering sports coverage for families and serious fans, and a customer base spanning all generations – baby boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials.

Native_Established_1979