Friday, February 16, 2007

Buffalo Wild Wings plans HQ move - Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal:

Buffalo Wild Wings plans HQ move - Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal:

BW3 is moving the headquarters, but not far, they're staying in Minneapolis. Apparently they have outgrown their space and need to expand. There also was some commentary about their ability to financially perform, they're still feeling the pinch of rising chicken prices - I hate it when that ruins a good business model...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

New Chicken Wing Recipe, Fire House Wings

Cluckbucket: Chicken Wing Recipes, Fire House Wings

Very interesting new recipe. I haven't tried them yet. If you do, be sure to let me know what you think-

Peace, love, and grease!
Scott "The Cluckbucket" Roth

New Chicken Wing Eating Technique; The Plunger

Cluckbucket: Chicken Wing Eating Techniques; The Plunger

Thanks a ton to WonderDude from St. Louis for putting my latest wing eating technique into words. This is a move I've been doing a good amount lately, it's a derivation from the Smash (actually, a lazy man's Smash), but it works great.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Over 16 million wings sold on Super Bowl sunday

Wingstop Sells Three Million Wings on Super Bowl Sunday; National Chain Breaks Its All-Time Single Day Sales Record: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

The Wingstop, one of the fastest growing chicken wing chains in the US claims that it sold over 3 million wings on Super Bowl sunday eclipsing it's record of 2.5 million last year.

If this is true, I'd say it's safe to say that over 16 million wings were sold on Super Bowl sunday this year. Here's my math:

Major Chains

Wingstop has 550 locations and sold 3M wings, that's roughly 5,500 wings per location.
BW3 has 415 locations, so if they also sold 5,500 wings per location that's another 2.3M.
Hooters has 435 locations, keeping with our average per location that's another 2.4M.
The Wing Zone has 100 locations, there's another .5M.

So, by covering the major chain's 1,500 locations we've already got 8.2M wings flying out the door.

Other Places to Get Wings

Let's just assume that for every Wingstop, BW3, Hooters, and Wing Zone that exists there 5x as many "other places to get wings" (and I think this is a very conservative number). By "other places to get wings" I mean everything from a great local wing chain like Show-Me's in St. Louis or Taco Mac in Atlanta to your local Applebees or Fridays. That gives us 7,500 locations (1,500 x 5).

And let's also assume that those "other places to get wings" sold on average 20% of what one of the big wing chain locations sold. That's 1,100 wings per location (5,500 x .2).

From the 7,500 other places to get wings we have another 8.3M wings.

The Grand Total

In my book, by combining the major wing chains and the other places to get wings, it's very likely that 16.5 million wings were sold on Super Bowl sunday. How's that for a new record!

Peace, love, and grease!

Scott "The Cluckbucket" Roth

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Super Bowl Wing Crisis: Portland Oregon Style

Best Wings in Portland, OR

Loyal Cluckbucket fan Lex from Portland writes:

Dear Cluckbucket,

Wish I had had your phone number the other day – Superbowl wing crisis. Drinking bloody mary’s at noon we decided it was time to put in an order for the big game. After our fourth attempt Fire On the Mountain picked up their phone only to tell us the earliest they could have our order ready was 5PM.

So what is now the reigning number 2 wing joint in the city if I ever need a backup? The bartender where we were drinking said her family owns Jax and therefore suggested we try that place. We weren’t buying it.

Hope all is well,


PS: We had cheese steaks instead.

Dear Lex-

I can completely understand your quandary. Fire On the Mountain is without a doubt the BEST wing joint in the greater Portland area. For the odd situations where you can't get a batch served up from FOTM, here's what I recommend.

2. The Wing Stop: Even though it's a tough location for most of us (4124 SE 82nd Ave), The Wing Stop is my number 2 wing joint in the Portland area. They are primarily known for take-out orders but they do have a small dine in space. Their wings are are naked with a great variety of sauces, try the cajun, original hot, and garlic parmesan. Add to that pretty cheap beer and great fresh cut french fries, and you've got a winning combination. It's no FOTM, but it's great for a runner up.

3. Buffalo Wild Wings: Better as a sports bar than a wing joint, Buffalo Wild Wings (BW3 or B-Dubs) is my number 3 pick for the Portland area. They have a disturbing amount of really really nice televisions and a good beer selection which makes this an excellent spot to watch the game. Their wings and sauces are solid, but not great. The other downfall is that their prices seem to be a bit high unless you go on Tuesdays when they have $.50 wings. All said, I recommend BW3 to anyone who hasn't been to one before or anyone who is stuck out in the Beaverton/Hillsboro area (more locations coming to Portland in the not-so-distant future).

4. Make your own wings: If you can find any chicken left on Super Bowl sunday, grab what you can, find a recipe from the Cluckbucket, and cook them up on your own.

5. Hooters: Hooters wings are well, Hooters wings. Again, they are okay, but they aren't great. Their breaded wings usually have too much breading and the naked ones are actually a good alternative. Be prepared to pay the high prices they need to charge in order to cover the costs of adequately staffing the establishments (you'd ask for a lot of money to wear those orange shorts and put up with drunken fools too!). They have three locations in Portland now.

6. The rest of the best: Portland has a lot of great "other" places for wings. They're not necessarily wing joints, but some of them have solid wing offerings on their menu. Check out the Cluckbucket Internet Hot Wing Database for more information.

Thanks for your question Lex, hope this info helps.

Peace, love, and grease!
Scott "The Cluckbucket" Roth

Monday, February 05, 2007

Wing Bowl Results

Philadelphia Inquirer 02/01/2007 Chestnut defends crown

Joey Chestnut polished off 182 wings en route to defending his Wing Bowl crown last Thursday morning at the Wachovia Center in Philly. The early morning crowd was rowdy as rowdy as ever during the tight race, but in the end it was Chestnut that pulled away from the pack.

In big post-event news, Bill "El Wingador" Simmons, previous Wing Bowl conquistidor, announced he would come out of retirement for next year's event to challenge Chestnut.

Begin wing drama.

Other Super Bowl Wing Success Stories

In addition to our own traffic spike, other wing related businesses across the country are recovering and celebrating the boost that the Super Bowl brings to the industry. Here are a few of their stories:

Colts, Bears, and Chicken Wings

Football fans gear up for game

Buffalo Wild Wings gets part of it's spice from sporting events

Second to the game are the snacks

At Super Bowl parties, we all scream for chicken wings

Super Bowl big business for some, "ghost town" for others

The Super Bowl Feast: It’s not just about pizza anymore…

Another Super Bowl has come and gone and even though the game was pretty ugly, according to my analysis, people were at least enjoying their fair share of wings! Yep, we here at saw another big traffic spike with folks looking either for recipes or restaurants to get carryout/delivery. The Super Bowl means big business for the food industry, and wing joints are taking a bite out of pizza place’s pie.

As you may recall, last year following the Super Bowl left a post that showed the traffic patterns for the week leading up to the big day. This year I’ll give you some week-over-week perspective as well as some year-over-year figures.


Using our analysis from WebTrends, we were able to easily compare the week of 1/22/07 through 1/28/07 (a very normal week) to 1/29/07 through 2/4/07 (the days leading up to the big game). Here’s what we saw:

  • Unique Visitors: Increased 138% from 773 to 1,848
  • Pages Viewed: Increased 153% from 2,340 to 5,913
  • New Visitors: Increased 144% from 711 to 1,733
  • Returning Visitors: Increased 64% from 73 to 120
The graph below shows a comparison of the level of visitors I received to the site each day of the week:

Also interesting to note, I only had 1.7% of my visitors reject the cookie that WebTrends uses to identify them. This is way down from the levels that I used to see (upwards of 15%) before WebTrends rolled a 1st party cookie solution out to their hosted software customers.

I also took an in-depth view at where I got all of these new visitors from. The report below shows the top sites that referred traffic to my site throughout the week, and their corresponding growth week-over-week:

I’m particularly fond of the fact that my direct traffic grew as nicely as it did. That means that folks are starting to remember the name Cluckbucket and seem to find some value in the content that we offer.

The growth of referrals from Yahoo and MSN also intrigued me, so I decided to see what search phrases were fuelling those results. Here you can see the straight up figures of the top search phrases and the associated search engine (I’m looking only at organic search engine results so I don’t mix up the clicks that I actually am paying for):

Finally, I wanted to see what content people viewed most frequently, and based on the search phrases reports I had a good hunch that it would be recipes. The report below shows the top 5 pages on the site, and the comparison week-over-week. As I expected, four of the top five pages had to do with wing recpies:


Again, using our analysis from WebTrends, we were able to easily compare the week of 1/30/06 through 2/5/06 (week leading up to the Super Bowl last year) to 1/29/07 through 2/4/07 (week leading up to the SuperBowl this year). Here’s what we saw:

  • Unique Visitors: Increased 29% from 1,422 to 1,842
  • Pages Viewed: Increased 27% from 4,647 to 5,913
  • New Visitors: Increased 39% from 1,325 to 1,733
  • Returning Visitors: Increased 30% from 92 to 120

Wasted Opportunities

Now to the bad news, I was totally slacking when it comes to getting my site prepped and ready for a big day/week of traffic. Had I thought about it in advance I would have definitely done some strategic promotion of the following things:

  • Highlight Interactive Content: The only real investment I’ve made in this area is the video of the Smash wing eating technique. It’s proven to be a pretty popular clip and gets decent air time on both Google Video and YouTube. I should have put a promo for it in the side nav of the recipes page.
  • Promote the Newsletter: I’ve developed a decent sized subscriber base to my newsletter “The Clucker”, had I been thinking I could have suggested that people that like the recipes they are seeing on the site will enjoy the more in-depth wing related content I provide in the newsletter.
  • Cross-sell the IHWDB: The Internet Hot Wing Database is usually one of our most popular and by far our most dynamic destination. Getting people over to the IHWDB would have increased their time on the site, and helped visitors to see that the Cluckbucket is about more than just recipes.

Summing it all up

Even though there were some wasted opportunities, the net net was that was a good week for us both week-over-week and year-over-year. Similar to last year, my main hope is that people will remember the Cluckbucket keep coming back throughout the rest of the year…

Peace, love, and grease!
Scott “The Cluckbucket” Roth