Seth Bassett 7:54
did. So we kind of have a unique experience. Buffalo Wings and Rings is a fantastic franchise. But the unique experience on ours is when we got into this franchise my initial plan so it took about a year for us to close the lung. And my goal was to build like 20 of these things these things are great this food is great there’s no others in California turns out there is one this so far south you wouldn’t be able find it from where we’re located. Like why isn’t there one of these in every town rather than our competitors. So that was my initial plan. Now halfway through the process, Wings and Rings decided they didn’t want to be in California anymore. But they knew the old owner you know, you don’t have a business to sell if you can’t sell those wings rings and they knew we needed the franchise backing the veal via business so for the betterment of everyone, they decided to sign a franchise agreement with us but they will not refine another one after 10 years. So they are giving us the option to find a good time to exit along these 10 years. They don’t want us to go 10 years and kick us out but we have to find a good time to exit so I kind of shifted gears to okay well if we can’t continue with this franchise I know we want to do more things we just didn’t know what they were going to be at the time. So rather than kind of cookie cutter it out the other stuff that we’ve gotten into has been a little bit more what should I say individually built rather than you know franchise, the cookie cutter method.
Chad Franzen 9:24
So right now you have three Wings and Rings locations is that right?
Seth Bassett 9:28
No, we only have the one way springs location Okay, and then we have another American yeah to a few other different establishments but just the one week’s race.
Chad Franzen 9:37
Okay, how did COVID affect you guys at Wings and Rings?
Seth Bassett 9:41
So we’re very fortunate to where wings are cemented as great takeout food. But still the first couple months were really really rough. So the first month we’re going through, we did higher volume takeout than a lot of restaurants because a lot of restaurants you know they only do 5% of their you know five to 10 per sent normally in takeout, our normal takeout average at our locations about 30% of our sales 3030 to 40%. So we do a lot of takeout already. So shifting over to just doing takeout only was doable and easy for us because we’d already been doing so much takeout. Granted, our volume still dropped by about 60%. So we were just trying to break even. And without alcohol sales or dining in our whole goal was just to break even. So the first few months were rough until we get started doing outdoor dining. And then we started doing outdoor dining, they gave us the you know, obviously we had a tent, like everyone else we can fit, you know, eight tables inside. But people would start calling us and be like, Hey, we, you know, every other place is cool, because every other place only has six day tables do you guys have room, I’m like, I’ll throw another table outside, it can be in the parking lot could be wherever if you want to sit here and eat, I’m not gonna say no to you. So we actually started doing heavier volume outdoors than we’ve ever done inside to the point where we had to buy extra folding tables and chairs. And we were, we’re throwing them all up and down the sidewalks throughout the parking lot just seating as many people as we can. And our volume actually took off. Because we’re the only restaurant that has seating everywhere else added to our wait if you wanted to go out because their seating was so limited. And we were just fortunate that next door to us, there’s a dentist that closes at five. So there was no one that had any problem with and we’re kind of in freestanding buildings. So we actually fortunately in the later half of COVID, we’re able to kind of make up those numbers for where we struggled in the early half.
Chad Franzen 11:36
Nice. Nice, very nice. So you mentioned you had some other franchises that you’re now involved in. Besides Wings and Rings, do you want to talk about what those are? Well, then
Seth Bassett 11:45
they’re not franchises with the other involvement, their other other growth that, like I said, are more individually built that we were involved in another. During COVID, I met a business partner and we ended up buying a bar together. And we reached more recently just bought another barbecue American-style restaurant that’s been cemented in kind of our town for a while. So we just kind of took it over to remodel revamp that one. And now we’re in the process of building a brand new restaurant, hopefully by the beginning of next year. So we’re growing, just not necessarily on the franchise side. A lot of the other side have just been, we’ve done a really good job of picking up businesses that have been down-trending for a while and turning them around and turning them into gold. And then this next year is our first opportunity at building something that’s brand new, for the first time,
Chad Franzen 12:40
what did you learn from your Wings and Rings experience in terms of taking over that business and kind of turning it around that you can apply to these to these other ones,
Seth Bassett 12:49
we learned a ton because I mean, it was the it’s almost like starting with training wheels and being able to just kind of release the training wheels. I mean, we learned just every everything, everything on the business side of it, I think was more of the stronger part because obviously we came from BJ’s. And BJ’s has great training, great programs in terms of how to, you know, do ordering purchasing stuff like that. But when we got to the business side, we’ve never done that side of it. So owning your own franchise on the business portion of it, we’ve been able to see, you know, you pay your franchise fee and a certain percentage, but a lot of that percentage washed out on the amount of deals and discounts you get by the franchise having great, you know, significant purchasing power. So some of the stuff that we’ve been able to learn from them and work out with them, we’ve been able to bring over to the other other restaurants and bars as well, because having that increased purchasing power and learning how to, oh, we’re making deals with McCain or whoever it is, and getting better deals and what’s normally on the market. It’s just taught us, really that business side of it. And there’s in the franchise, there’s a whole group of people that are dedicated to serving us when it comes to the business side. So if I have HR issues, I can go to them if I have purchasing issues, these issues, those issues, I have a direct person involved with each of those. And that’s been able to kind of help me find out where to go to solve these problems. Where we had the restaurant, restaurant side, we know how to run the restaurant, do that side, but we didn’t know the business side of it.
Chad Franzen 14:30
What are you most excited about in terms of you said you’re kind of just starting your own place. What are you most excited about? regarding that?
Seth Bassett 14:37
I’m most excited that we don’t have to rebuild the base that we can come in build it how we want it. Like a lot of the places we’ve gone in, we’ve come in and we’re looking at the equipment’s like we got to replace that we got to replace that. Okay, this isn’t working. We can go in and build it from scratch how we want it and as they’re coming they know that we’re the ones that built it rather than I mean the newest place we just bought it was rough first three or four months trying to kind of rebuild that base and tell people hey, there’s new people here. We’ve got a new mate you know, newer menu we’ve got we’re changing things and having people come out to try us again. We first bought Wings and Rings, that was a struggle as well because it honestly took the entire first year to really get people to come out and try us again. There’s some people that liked it some people but there’s a lot of people that didn’t like it due to you know, previous ownership and things that happened that trying to rebuild that base and get people to give you another chance in restaurants is really a struggle. So that’s kind of the part I’m excited about we’re everything that we build is our own including the mistakes the the problems and issues that they also have with our new restaurant is all on us, as well. But it’s now our mistake rather than fixing you know someone else’s mistakes.
Chad Franzen 15:57
I have one final question for you. But first, how can people find out more about your Wings and Rings location and you know, any of the other locations that you have working right now.
Seth Bassett 16:06
So Wings and Rings, like I said, they are fantastic franchise if you have anyone nearby, I highly recommend to go out there. If you’re in the Midwest, that’s where most of them are located. So when I say they don’t want to be California, where there’s two in California, the next closest one is until Texas or Ohio. So if you’re anywhere out in Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, I highly recommend you try them out or if you’re near us try it out before we end up you know, the branding in a couple of years whenever that happens to be so you can find out about more about those online any of my other our other places are all in Modesto, California. So if you’re anywhere nearby check us out. Any response? We got the twisted pig? new restaurant, which we don’t have a name for but we’ll figure that out and low key saloon bar. But yeah, anywhere close to length drinks, absolutely. Try it out if you’d like wings.
Chad Franzen 16:57
Okay, sounds good. Hey, when you go my final question when you go to Wings and Rings, maybe as a customer, what would be kind of your meal of choice,
Seth Bassett 17:05
boneless wings. So if Now typically you go for bone into wings, boning leaves are kind of somewhat the same. Anywhere you go. Ours are all fresh, never frozen. So they’re typically bigger, juicier. But they’re boneless wings are hand-breaded to order but not these frozen nuggets and really bready that you get at some other places. But they’re all fresh. We we bred them to order, throw them in the fryer, their bigger, fatter juicier than everything and even if you don’t like boneless wings, give them a try that and they’re blue cheese. They’re blue cheeses, homemade as well. Best things on the menu.
Chad Franzen 17:38
All right, sounds good. I’m hungry. Hey, Seth. Thanks. Thanks so much for your time today. It’s been great to talk to you.
Seth Bassett 17:44
Absolutely. Thank you. I appreciate it.
Chad Franzen 17:46
So long, everybody.
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