Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Are Buffalo Wild Wings and Chipotle Mexican Grill Going to War?

Source:  Chipotle Mexican Grill

What do full-service beer and wings have to do with fast-casual Mexican food? Absolutely nothing. However, unlikely contenders Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ: BWLD  ) and Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG  )  may find themselves on the same battlefield when it comes to pizza.

What? A pizza war?
Yes, pizza. Although Buffalo Wild Wings does have a flatbread pizza on its menu, what I'm actually referring to is the company's "build-your-own artisanal pizza concept" called PizzaRev. Buffalo Wild Wings has thrown its hat into the fast-casual ring and is planning to expand its PizzaRev concept everywhere. Guests are able to "craft their own" personal pizza from 30+ ingredients and it's ready in less than three minutes.

Chipotle Mexican Grill has its own fast-casual pizza concept revving up for what it hopes is a national roll-out. It's called Pizzeria Locale. According to Steve Ells, co-CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill, it shares its economic model with Chipotle.

Source: Chipotle Mexican Grill

Even with vastly different types of food, Ells believes that the company can leverage the management of the Pizzeria Locale chain because field managers within a geographic region can manage both chains at the same time. A manager can work with the Pizzeria Locale model in the same way that he or she manages Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Advantages of each
Both companies have their unique advantages as they roll out their pizza chains. For Chipotle Mexican Grill, it's kind of obvious. It knows fast-casual. It has vast experience in operations, logistics, and location scouting. It has the Chipotle Mexican Grill branding attached to it. When a Pizzeria Locale pops up in town and word gets out that it's owned by the Chipotle people, at least some loyal fans will be curious and give it a shot.

Will the Buffalo Wild Wings fans be equally tempted? Maybe. I just get the impression that Buffalo Wild Wings is just as much about the ambiance and experience as it is about the wings whereas with Chipotle Mexican Grill it's mostly about the food. No doubt Chipotle Mexican Grill is the one that gets more to-go orders.

According to a presentation back in May, Chipotle Mexican Grill claims that the pizzas at Pizzeria Locale only take two minutes to bake. They take three minutes at PizzaRev. That extra minute of savings may not sound like a lot, but that extra minute per person could make a huge difference for the line, especially at lunch.

Source: Buffalo Wild Wings

A point for Buffalo Wild Wings is the possibility of cross-selling its products. I wouldn't expect a Chipotle burrito at Pizzeria Locale or pizza at Chipotle any time soon. However, it's not hard to imagine either PizzaRev pizza becoming available at Buffalo Wild Wings, or perhaps even more likely, Buffalo Wild Wings brand wings becoming available at PizzaRev. Why not? One thing's for sure -- wings and pizza have gone together since what seems like the birth of food itself.

Foolish takeaway
Both Buffalo Wild Wings and Chipotle Mexican Grill have grown fantastically and continue to do so with amazing same-store sales and unit growth quarter after quarter after quarter. Their stock prices likewise have exploded and this has caused many to question their valuations. However, keep an eye on their pizza concepts.

Even most bears would probably admit that if these companies' pizza concepts prove to be even half as successful as their core concepts, this would be a game changer for both of their long-term valuations that would make their current prices look cheap.

Leaked: This coming device has every company salivating
The best investors consistently reap gigantic profits by recognizing true potential earlier and more accurately than anyone else. Let me cut right to the chase. There is a product in development that will revolutionize not just how we buy goods, but potentially how we interact with the companies we love on a daily basis. Analysts are already licking their chops at the sales potential. In order to outsmart Wall Street and realize multi-bagger returns, you will need The Motley Fool's new free report on the dream-team responsible for this game-changing blockbuster. CLICK HERE NOW.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 3011581, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/4/2015 8:30:43 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Nickey Friedman

Nickey is a select freelancer for the Fool. She writes about food & beverage, dry bulk shipping, and whatever else floats her boat. After selling four successful restaurants, she turned in her knives for a pen and now puts her passion for food, hospitality, and transportation in writing. You can send email to her at

Today's Market

updated 11 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,374.76 23.38 0.14%
S&P 500 1,951.13 2.27 0.12%
NASD 4,733.50 0.00 0.00%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/3/2015 3:59 PM
BWLD $197.20 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Buffalo Wild Wings CAPS Rating: ****
CMG $724.99 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Chipotle Mexican G… CAPS Rating: ***