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Spark Boosts Portfolio with Acquisition of 3 Buffalo Wild Wings Units in Houston

Spark purchased 3 new units to expand their Buffalo Wild Wings portfolio! The new units located in Pearland, Webster and Pasadena Texas, passed to Spark’s hands on January 1st of 2019, increasing the amount of restaurants from 5 to 8 in less than a year. Two of the units are the highest volume in the Houston market, which is an exciting opportunity for Spark as newcomers to the Buffalo Wild Wings family.

The Spark team expects to take these new locations to the next level, focusing on improved operations, service, asset appearance and cost control. Particularly, they plan to remodel the Pasadena unit during the year to create an even better environment for guests to watch their favorite teams with friends and wings!

The acquisition of new restaurants sets up the momentum necessary to boost future growth. Spark, with the approval of Buffalo Wild Wings corporate, is currently working to find a site fit to bring a new Buffalo Wild Wings to a community that is underserved. This opportunity comes to the Spark team because of how they have positioned themselves as brand ambassadors focused on improving the brand presence.

The new expansion of Spark’s footprint was published by the business magazine “The Score”. In it, Spark, as a company which has spent years purchasing and acquiring units, shows us the process for transition and the method for excellence it has created over the years.

Spark Restaurant Management Boosts Portfolio With Acquisition of Three Houston Locations

In early January, Spark Restaurant Management acquired three Houston, Texas, locations from franchisee Woody Winfield, bringing the company’s total unit count to eight.

“The BWW® brand, over the years, has done remarkably well in the Houston market,” said Mickelowf Rosckowff, chief operations officer, and Sanjay Mehra, president of Spark Restaurant Management. “Moreover, we have a major presence in Houston with 58 additional restaurants from various brands, including BWW. The addition of three more BWW units gave us the ability to share resources and operate more efficiently.”

With the new acquisition comes a demand to hire and train new people. To help ensure the success of the company, Spark Restaurant Management used its PAP (People, Assets, Profit) method to hire and train its new team members. “We work exceedingly hard with our leaders to deliver a world-class culture of recognition, development and fair accountability,” said Rosckowff and Mehra. “These are key components that ensure our employees have a great experience in their careers within our organization that results in exceptional guest experiences. Having a well maintained restaurant, aesthetically and functionally, and a streamlined back of house will enable us to stay ahead of competitors. Many industries today are highly competitive; therefore, we employ these key drivers in the execution of the

brand vision and mission.”

For every company, after purchasing and acquiring units, the transition is always a challenge, however, due to numerous acquisitions Spark Restaurant Management has done in the past, the company has developed a method to perform smooth transitions. “Our methodology focuses on five functional areas and measures within a 90-day timeline. The functional areas are management, human resources, operations, finance/accounting and maintenance,” said Rosckowff and Mehra. “In every area, we strive to identify strengths and opportunities before we provide communication and direction to calibrate with our operating culture. At the core, we ensure we are establishing the culture, building relationships, strengthening the focus on the guest experience and advancing performance.”

For this acquisition, Spark Restaurant Management worked with four partners. However, gaining alignment from all four partners and getting them to the closing table was a marathon for Spark Restaurant Management. The calibration was a challenge on the valuation of the business along with how to reduce capital gains for the seller, but toward the end, Spark Restaurant Management was able to reach a median where both the buyer and seller walked away content.

“Our recent BWW acquisition makes us the only franchisee in the Houston DMA,” said Rosckowff and Mehra. “We now have the freedom to expand BWW in Houston without impeding on another franchisee’s territory. Our mega plan is to grow the BWW brand in Houston and beyond with new unit development and procuring more acquisitions.”

Through this new acquisition and its people, assets and profit, Spark Restaurant Management is able to heighten its presence in the Houston market and build a loyal customer base. “With Buffalo Wild Wings® aiming to re-energize the brand, we will be able to use that momentum to take these units to the next level,” said Rosckowff and Mehra.

-This article was published in The Score (2019, issue 1)

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