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Before Buying Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby's CEO Talks Turning the Company Around

Arby's just purchased Buffalo Wild Wings for $2.9 billion. We look back at our interview with Arby's CEO Paul Brown who discussed the company's turnaround.
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Arby's surprised Wall Street by offering $157 per share for Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) . That values the chicken chain at about $2.9 billion, including net debt. But Arby's was known for massive sandwiches more than massive deals like this. But that was before CEO Paul Brown led a major turnaround.

We sat down with Brown back in 2016. He discussed Arby's obsessive focus on rolling out new products while also emphasizing the quality of its trademark roast beef. The privately held fast-food chain, which had 3,300 restaurants worldwide, had just reported U.S. same-store sales gained a solid 3.7% during the second quarter due to an increased number of transactions. It marked a mind-boggling 23 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth for a chain founded in 1964. Brown joined Arby's in 2013. In 2015, Arby's U.S. systemwide sales rose 8.6% to $3.45 billion, notes research firm Technomic. The growth rate outpaced that of larger chains including McDonald's (MCD) , Restaurant Brands' (QSR)  Burger King chain, Wendy's (WEN)  and Sonic (SONC) , according to Technomic data. 

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