Man Sues Buffalo Wild Wings: Who Owns the Popular Chicken Chain?
It’s a litigious world we live in, where people can sue for the silliest reasons, like getting coffee at McDonald’s that is “too hot.” One Illinois man recently filed a lawsuit against Buffalo Wild Wings, claiming that the restaurant’s boneless wings aren’t really chicken wings.
“Unbeknown to Plaintiff and other consumers, the Products are not wings at all, but instead, slices of chicken breast meat deep-fried like wings,” states the lawsuit filed by Aimen Halim.
Buffalo Wild Wings, aka BW3 or BDubs, admits that their boneless wings are, in fact, all-white meat chicken. “It’s true. Our boneless wings are all white meat chicken. Our hamburgers contain no ham. Our buffalo wings aren't 0 percent buffalo,” the restaurant states in a March 13, 2023, Twitter post.
Who owns Buffalo Wild Wings?
Buffalo Wild Wings is owned by Inspire Brands, which also owns other popular restaurant chains like Arby’s, Sonic Drive-In, Jimmy John’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Baskin-Robbins. The company was formed in 2018 when BW3 merged with the Arby’s Restaurant Group.
BW3 was founded in 1982 by figure skater Jim Disbrow and Scott Lowery, the son of Disbrow’s skating coaches and legal guardians, David and Rita Lowery. The two men reportedly decided to open the BW3 after not being able to find a restaurant that served Buffalo-style chicken wings.
Originally called Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck, the first location opened in Columbus, Ohio, near the Ohio State University campus. Over the next 10 years, the restaurant expanded to include more Ohio locations as well as locations in Indiana and Steamboat Springs, Colo.
In 1992, BW3 became a franchise, and by October 1999, there were 100 restaurants nationwide. The restaurant chain continued growing, and between 2007 and 2011, BW3 regularly appeared on the Forbes list of “200 Best Small Companies.” Fortune magazine also listed BW3 as one of the “100 Fastest Growing Companies” in 2008, 2009, and 2011.
Who is the CEO of BW3?
While there isn't a CEO of BW3, Paul Brown is the CEO of BW3’s parent company Inspire Brands. Lyle Tick has been the president of Buffalo Wild Wings since 2018. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Madison graduate, Tick worked with the Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and Bacardi before joining the executive leadership team at BW3.
Although no information is available on how much Tick earns as the president of Buffalo Wild Wings, his salary is likely in the millions. Longtime BW3 CEO Sally Smith reportedly received $4 million in compensation in 2015. Smith served as the restaurant’s president and CEO from 1996 until 2017.
What does the plaintiff want in his lawsuit against Buffalo Wild Wings?
According to the Washington Post, the recent lawsuit against Buffalo Wild Wings claims the restaurant violates anti-fraud laws in Illinois and throughout the U.S. The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and asks for an injunction preventing Buffalo Wild Wings from using the term in the future, the Post reports.
“Plaintiff and other consumers would have paid significantly less for the Products, or would not have purchased them at all, had they known … the truth about the Products,” states Halim’s lawsuit.