Buffalo Wild Wings Is About to Get Even More Entertaining

Buffalo Wild Wings is about to bring something new to all its restaurants. Here's what investors and diners need to know.

Mar 12, 2014 at 5:40PM

Buffalo

With BEOND tablets in every location, Buffalo Wild Wings aims to boost diners' engagement.
Source: Buffalo Wild Wings.

In case it wasn't enough to offer a fun atmosphere with beer, wings, and walls of televisions showcasing dozens of sporting events, Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD) is about to become even more entertaining.

On Thursday, B-Wild announced it's expanding its partnership with NTN Buzztime (NYSEMKT:NTN) to bring the smaller company's BEOND tablet-based entertainment platform to all Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants by the end of 2015. As of the end of last year, that meant more than 1,000 Buffalo Wild Wings locations.

Specifically, that means bringing a seven-inch Samsung Galaxy tablet to every guest -- customized for Buffalo Wild Wings' business, of course -- letting them order food, request a specific TV channel or song, pay their bill, play games like trivia and poker, and even set up a Blazin' Wing Challenge.

The multiyear agreement also involves replacing Buffalo Wild Wings' existing Buzztime Playmaker trivia consoles and follows a successful test of the new product in 30 locations. In fact, NTN's BEOND is already being used in roughly 150 company-owned restaurants. By the end of 2014, Buffalo Wild Wings expects the tablets to be available in 350 more.

If you can't quite picture what the new tablets are all about, here's a handy overview and some testimonials from the folks at NTN Buzztime:

Buffalo Wild Wings already has its head in the game...
It's not as though Buffalo Wild Wings needed the help. Last quarter's revenue grew 22% year over year on a comparable 13-week basis, driven by impressive same-store sales growth at company-owned and franchised locations of 5.2% and 3.1%, respectively. Earnings per share fared even better, increasing 57.1% over the same year-ago period.

What's more, Buffalo Wild Wings told investors same-store sales for the first five weeks of 2014 increased 4.8% and 2.1% at company-owned and franchised locations -- and we haven't even begun to see the positive effects of March Madness.

Meanwhile, casual-dining competitor Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last week questionably blamed bad weather and a Thanksgiving holiday shift for the most recent quarter's respective same-store sales decreases of 5.4% and 8.8% at Olive Garden and Red Lobster, respectively. Even excluding those negative events, however, Darden says same-store sales still would have fallen 2.8% at Olive Garden and 6.2% at Red Lobster.

And Darden isn't alone. Closer to Buffalo Wild Wings' wheelhouse is craft beer specialist BJ's Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI), which -- despite steady locations growth -- has put together a series of earnings disappointments so impressive it practically has shareholders begging for activist investors to step in. Comps fell by 2.7% during BJ's Restaurants' fourth quarter, thanks to both a 2.3% decline in foot traffic and a 0.4% decrease in average check price.

The funny thing is, BJ's Restaurants CEO Greg Trojan pointed out those figures are actually better than the casual dining industry as a whole, which goes to show just how impressive Buffalo Wild Wings' recent performance really is.

However, keep in mind Buffalo Wild Wings investors did punish the stock following those aforementioned quarterly results, primarily because of what the market perceived as worrisome forward-looking comments from management, who warned rising wing prices could depress earnings growth in the second half of this year.

...but they can have their wings and eat 'em, too
Even so, Buffalo Wild Wings new volume-based pricing structure should give it at least some control in moderating the effects of rising ingredient costs, so investors shouldn't need to fear an exact repeat of last year's expensive wings debacle.

But if Buffalo Wild Wings can do even better, why shouldn't it try?

That's where NTN Buzztime's latest creation comes into play. By creating a more immersive, interactive, and convenient restaurant experience through BEOND, Buffalo Wild Wings can not only entice diners to stick around longer and spend more money, but can also make them want to come back for more -- that is, even more than they already did.

What do you think? Is BEOND just a gimmick, or will it be a big win for Buffalo Wild Wings? Sound off in the comments section below.

Three more stocks whet your appetite for profits
It's no secret that investors tend to be impatient with the market, but the best investment strategy is to buy shares in solid businesses and keep them for the long term. In the special free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich," The Motley Fool shares investment ideas and strategies that could help you build wealth for years to come. Click here to grab your free copy today.

Steve Symington owns shares of Buffalo Wild Wings. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of BJ's Restaurants and Buffalo Wild Wings. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers