Native Grill & Wings is scheduled to open Monday, March 27, at 7700 W. State St. in Boise. It’s the latest restaurant to appear in the mixed-use North Pointe development across the street from Wal-Mart. Chipotle, Jersey Mike’s Subs and Smashburger recently opened there. Black Bear Diner is on the way.
Native Grill & Wings has about three dozen locations, mostly in Arizona. It’s similar to sports bar franchise Buffalo Wild Wings, which has a location in Downtown Boise and in Meridian.
Will Native Grill will be on par with Buffalo Wild Wings — or even raise the sports bar?
Buffalo Wild Wings made a concerted effort to appeal to beer geeks when it opened Downtown last August — with 30 brews on tap including local choices. It’s unclear whether Native Grill will similarly beer-geared. But Native Grill’s food menu has a bit more variety. There are 21 wing flavors. (A couple have been added since the ad below was made.) There also are non-wing options: pizzas, calzones, burgers, sandwiches, fish and salads. Native Grill also has gluten-friendly and kids menus.
Established in 1979 as Native New Yorker, Native Grill’s owners were supposedly “the first to bring wings to Arizona.” In 2014, the restaurant rebranded itself and started focusing on growth in states such as Idaho, Montana and Texas.
This 36-year-old casual-dining brand specializes in chicken wings. The menu of this Chandler, Ariz.-based concept also includes burgers, sandwiches and pizza. Steve Snyder, IT and systems manager, says Native Grill & Wings is in the “infantile stages” of online ordering and delivery. Even so, the 31-unit chain has already tracked increased business and anticipates hiring additional personnel to handle the volume.
Staff place food in hotboxes if there is any wait time between production and delivery. Delivery people pick up orders at the same station that handles takeout orders. After carefully reviewing the delivery menus of some of its larger competitors, Native decided to offer 100 percent of its dine-in menu for delivery.
Native uses an online ordering system dedicated to supporting chain restaurants. When a consumer orders from the restaurant’s menu, the online system immediately sends a communication to delivery vehicles in the area. When the system locates an approved driver, the consumer receives a message that outlines delivery time and pricing and asks for confirmation.
Snyder says, “The challenge was that third-party delivery systems represent the customer, not the restaurant.” With this system, though, customers order directly through the Native app, allowing the chain to retain control over customer loyalty and the customer experience.