Egan Will Focus on the the Fast-Casual Brand’s Marketing Strategy and Franchise Growth
Wing It On!, a Buffalo-inspired wing franchise, announced its co-founder Justin Egan as CMO and head of restaurant technology. Egan will focus on the fast-casual brand’s marketing strategy and franchise growth. He has used targeted messaging and social media influencer tactics to launch strategy for Wing It On!’s Limited Time Offers and menu innovations.
Egan is most excited to provide new franchisees with a platform to execute their local marketing. “Our brand builds loyal fans who can experience our amazing product in-person, order online or the mobile app, and call ahead or curbside. Operators are focused on executing on the quality of the food and the friendly, clean atmosphere,” Egan said. Since not all operators are marketing experts, Egan is thrilled when “franchisees trust that they can open their store and let the system work as we designed it.”
Egan has been passionate about Wing It On! since 2011. “Matt Ensero (CEO and co-founder of Wing It On!) asked me to help him create the brand back when it was just one local wing joint. Nobody knew where it would take us, but I looked at this as an opportunity to create something that could be scaled. I designed the logo, the color palette, the menu, the website and in-store signage with the future in mind,” Egan said.
Over time, Egan’s passion for Wing It On! never went away, and he craved playing an active role. “I co-founded the franchising company in 2014 and came on board in 2018 in a part-time capacity to manage the brand and revamp the restaurant tech. We’re at the point now where we have 11 franchise and corporate locations, one food truck franchise, and 18 stores in development up and down the East Coast and Texas. With such positive momentum, it was time to bring me in full-time,” Egan said. Egan helped build service features that ensure Wing It On! stands out from the competition, including online and mobile ordering capabilities, a third-party delivery strategy, and a customer loyalty program.
Egan and Franchising
Prior to joining Wing It On!, Egan held marketing management positions at The Hartford, a Connecticut-based financial services firm. Additionally, Egan was a partner and web marketing consultant with Buddy Pages, a digital services company. To grow Wing It On!, Egan and Ensero believed that franchising was the best route. “To us, this meant that we were going to learn along the way and figure this out no matter how long it took. The best part for me has been being able to network with great people across the industry. In doing that, we can see how all brands go through the same challenges and struggles and that there are always people willing to give support when you need it,” Egan said.
For investors looking to make the leap into franchising, Egan suggests following their passions. “A lot of people get into franchising because they are following their passions — which I love – because I can relate. My advice to those people would be to stay positive and remain determined to reach your goals no matter what situations are thrown at you. Living is learning so, yes, you will fail at times, and that’s okay if you are learning from it. Most of it is outside your control anyway. Never, ever give up,” Egan said.
The Importance of a Marketing Strategy
Egan can’t stress the importance of a brand’s long-term marketing strategy. “We know brands differ in size, resources, and budgets. But regardless of where a brand is on its journey, there are always two important goals of effective marketing campaigns: get new fans in the door, and work hard to keep them delighted. This is extremely important and requires a well- thought-out local marketing plan,” Egan said.
At Wing It On!, “our operators can find and keep fans through an array of tactics, such as social media content, public relations and media outreach, influencer outreach, charity and sponsorships, reputation management, digital advertising, email and push notifications,” Egan said. Franchisors can improve their marketing strategy “by setting clear goals and keeping a keen eye on the metrics that matter. That way if something is not working, then you can see it instantly and know how to adapt.”