Buffalo Wild Wings Enters Fast-Casual Business with R Taco


Apr. 21 2016, Updated 4:05 p.m. ET

BWLD and R Taco

Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), which makes up 0.38% of the iShares Russell 2000 Growth ETF (IWO), is focused on investing in niche restaurant companies with big potential. Chief Executive Officer Sally Smith told the Star Tribune that “we want to invest in small emerging brands, companies with the desire to grow but maybe not the financial means or expertise to do so,” adding that “we are really more of a strategic partner for them.”

For this reason, BWLD has made further investments by acquiring a majority stake in R Taco, which was previously named “Rusty Taco,” in August 2014. Other big players in fast-casual restaurants include Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), Panera Bread (PNRA), and Shake Shack (SHAK).

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Rusty Taco’s history and products

Rusty Taco was launched in 2010 in Dallas, Texas, by Rusty Fenton and Steve Dunn. The company franchised its first restaurant in 2011. In 2013, Fenton passed away due to cancer, and Fenton’s widow, Denise Fenton, joined Steve Dunn in continuing the restaurant’s operations. To broaden its appeal for expansion, the restaurant chain changed its name to R Taco in September 2015.

As a fast-casual restaurant, the company serves what it calls “street-style tacos,” along with beers and margaritas. The company serves a variety of tacos priced between $2.5 and $3.

Continue to the next part for a closer look at BWLD’s biggest revenue drivers.


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