J.D. and Jeff Penland Named “2020 Franchisee Rock Stars”
Winston-Salem, NC (RestaurantNews.com) East Coast Wings + Grill’s J.D. and Jeff Penland – brothers and multi-unit operators for the full-service, family-dining franchise – were honored by Franchise Business Review as 2020 Franchisee Rock Stars. The Penlands, who own four ECW+G locations throughout North Carolina, were selected among a pool of 28,000-plus franchisees as rock stars in the “Multi-Unit Owner” category.
In 2007, the post-college graduates purchased an existing location. After a few short years, they turned the restaurant into a profitable investment and sold it in 2010. They used that experience to gain the entrepreneurial knowledge they needed and became multi-unit owners of the franchise, known as some of the top performing owners within the system, with over $8 million in revenue.
While there was a dip in Mid-March and early April, throughout the pandemic, the Penlands have since experienced record sales.
“Even at 50 percent occupancy, we’re maximizing our space. We’ve moved tables around, removed some, and able to swiftly adapt to guest traffic behavior, whether they’re dining in or ordering curbside and delivery,” said JD Penland. “ECW+G has the square footage down to a science and its right in the sweet spot to operate casual dining effectively.”
After seeing the success of ECW+G during the 2008 recession and the ongoing transparency and support from corporate throughout the pandemic, the Penlands are planning for their fifth location. Some of the substantial support provided by the franchisor included: proactively building a game plan to face COVID-19 realities, weekly conference calls, chain supply management, providing financial analysis programs and pulling back on marketing and royalty fees.
“We did our research and found analytics in a model that works. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel with ECW+G, follow the data-driven model and maximize it,” said Penland. “Based on our experience, it boils down to focus, dedication and sacrifice to succeed.”
Franchise Business Review is an independent research firm that benchmarks franchisee satisfaction. The firm honors franchisees who set outstanding examples of achieving success within the franchise model every year.
“J.D. and Jeff are the perfect example of what we look for when it comes to finding multi-unit franchisees for our brand,” said ECW+G Executive Vice President Mark Lyso. “Not only are they outstanding owners in terms of driving their own stores’ success – they’re also mentors for other owners in our system. Over the past few months, in addition to navigating the success of their own restaurants, they were actively advising other ECW+G franchisees on how to persevere and succeed.”
About East Coast Wings + Grill
East Coast Wings + Grill is a full-service, family-dining franchise that spotlights Buffalo wings. The thoughtfully-crafted menu also offers a variety of other options to satisfy every family member’s taste buds. With more than 60-nationwide locations currently operating or in various stages of development, the franchise recently secured a top spot on Restaurant Business Magazine’s “Future 50” list of fastest-growing, U.S. mid-sized restaurant chains for the second-consecutive year. Entrepreneur magazine also named East Coast Wings + Grill one of the nation’s top franchise investments, and Franchise Times magazine ranked the company No. 383 on its “Top 200+” list of top revenue-producing U.S. franchises. The concept has also been recognized by The Franchise Grade and Franchise Business Review for transparency during the franchise sales process, franchisee support and overall franchisee satisfaction. For more information about East Coast Wings + Grill or its franchise opportunities, visit www.eastcoastwings.com or www.eastcoastwingsfranchise.com.
Fishman Public Relations