How East Coast Wings + Grill’s Relationship with Franchisees Sparked a Turnaround


Before the COVID crisis officially hit the U.S., East Coast Wings CEO Sam Ballas spoke with a group of CEOs and told them his brand was planning for a 50 percent reduction in traffic.

At the time, he felt like Chicken Little.

“Everybody looked at me like, ‘What’re you talking about Sam?’” Ballas says. ‘“It can’t be that bad. They’re calling it the flu. They’re calling it flu-like.’”

But Ballas and his team watched carefully in January and February as countries overseas wrestled with COVID. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based brand received assistance from other restaurants that have international exposure, and the company came across additional data that suggested the pandemic in the U.S. was going to be more significant than anticipated. To read more, click here.