Work crews put the finishing touches on new signage, and executives with Southern Nevada’s newest fast-food franchise, Wing Zone, began hiring workers in North Las Vegas on Thursday.
The company held a seven-hour job fair in a tent outside the company’s first location to fill more than 40 in-store jobs ahead of the July 11 grand opening.
The leadership of Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop in January 2021 announced the purchase of the Atlanta-based Wing Zone franchise and since then has moved corporate offices to Las Vegas. Terms of the deal were not announced.
The first Wing Zone store will be in the North Mesa Plaza shopping center at Craig Road and Martin Luther King Boulevard in North Las Vegas.
“We expect it to take off right away,” said Myles Gift, vice president of operations for Wing Zone. “We’re putting a lot of effort into getting the word out. We have the Capriotti’s name and support and team behind it. We are launching this here in Las Vegas. We’ve got a couple of more (stores) planned this year for Las Vegas with another half dozen or so coming in behind that. We expect to own the market very quickly.”
Gift said that while both Capriotti’s and Wing Zone will share corporate offices on Durango Road, restaurants will be operated independently of each other.
“Ashley (Capriotti’s CEO Ashley Morris) and Jason (Certified Franchise Executive Jason Smylie) have done a fantastic job of making Capriotti’s a household name, not only on the East Coast where it was born, but here in the West where it has found a permanent home,” Gift said. “The name is synonymous with quality and we’re bringing that through Wing Zone to the area.”
Founded in 1993, Wing Zone is an international fast-casual restaurant franchise known for its fast service and cooked-to-order chicken wings and tenders. Wing Zone’s award-winning flavors are available at more than 31 locations in North America with 30 restaurants outside the United States. Named one of the fastest-growing franchise concepts by Inc., Success and Entrepreneur magazines, Wing Zone plans to grow to more than 200 restaurants by 2025.
Gift said Wing Zone is expected to branch out into other states beyond Nevada with stores also planned in California and Arizona.
Founded in 1976 in Wilmington, Delaware, Capriotti’s now has more than 100 stores in 16 states.
When Morris, who also takes on the CEO role for Wing Zone, announced purchasing the company, he called the acquisition “a natural fit for both brands, as Capriotti’s and Wing Zone share many of the same internal values and organizational goals.”
Speed in food preparation will be one of the hallmarks of Wing Zone.
“We want to completely revolutionize the guest experience of going for a fried chicken wing,” Gift said. “Typically, you are expecting a 15- to 17-minute experience and with us you’re going to get a two-minute experience from the time you walk in and place your order to the time you’re leaving with your order.”
The company also plans to introduce robotics in the preparation process later this year.
He said a “ghost kitchen” currently used for take-out orders in Pasadena, California, would be tested with robotics and that the first automated store in Las Vegas would likely be the third location opened.
“You’ll be able to walk in and see the automation happening,” he said.