Buffalo Wild Wings reported another quarter of disappointing earnings.
Same-store sales were down 1.7% for the first quarter of fiscal year 2016, a quarter that should be bolstered by the end of football season and March Madness.
But the company is looking to revive itself by becoming the go-to restaurant for another sport: soccer.
“Soccer is a growing sport in the United States and we’ll be the place to watch all the action on the pitch for the major tournaments this summer,” CEO and President Sally Smith said in a press release.
Smith highlighted several ways the company aims to make Buffalo Wild Wings the ultimate destination for watching soccer.
Smith said on an earnings call on Tuesday:
Our restaurants will be where soccer lives this summer during excitement of the Copa América and Euro Cup tournaments. We’ve partnered with Heineken to promote Buffalo Wild Wings as the place to catch all the action on the pitch, during the 80 games of the tournaments. Soccer will carry increase media weight this summer and we have a co-branded spot with Pepsi.
As soccer is a year-around sport, we intend to win the market for soccer viewership with our great food and beverage experience, and unparalleled sports viewing environment. We’re confident Buffalo Wild Wings will regain sales momentum by focusing on these initiatives that are within our operational control.
But despite these efforts, Buffalo Wild Wings is facing one major challenge: It appears that people might not be looking for a “destination” to eat their wings.
That’s likely why Buffalo Wild Wings is investing in its takeout business while it also focuses on encouraging customers to dine in.
Smith said that Buffalo Wild Wings aims to continue “to execute a strong takeout program and gain additional share.” Takeout represented 16% of total sales this quarter.
Another problem facing Buffalo Wild Wings is the high price of wings.
Wedbush Securities analysts pointed to how executives noted rising wing costs in the earnings call.
“Management indicated a large competitor is rumored to be building inventory for a possible fall promotion, which has kept wing costs higher for a longer period of time post-March Madness,” the analysts wrote in a note to clients.