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Wingstop CEO Says Chain Has Zero 'True Competitor'

Jayson Derrick

Chicken wings can be bought at nearly every pub across North America but ask Wingstop Inc (NASDAQ: WING) CEO Charles Morrison who his competitors are and he will answer there are none.

Wingstop offers consumers a carry-out or delivery option that some of the big box rivals "can't compete with," Morrison told CNBC's Jim Cramer Monday evening. The company's smaller-store format compared to rival chicken wing chains like Buffalo Wild Wings implies it's a "market all by ourselves" and it doesn't "have a true competitor."

Digitization Of Chicken Wings

Wingstop hopes it can leverage its perceived leadership in the market by expanding digital transactions, the CEO said. Digital transactions on average have a $5 higher average ticket, which makes it a more profitable transaction for franchise owners. For the parent company, this translates to a better return on investment.

Offering consumers the opportunity to view a menu through a mobile or handheld device gives them "more time" to browse options, he said. Also, it avoids an element of intimidation that may be associated with a phone order or avoid a long line at the order counter.

Digital technologies also help the company mitigate labor expenses as it implies each location requires less workers.

"We do believe through digital technologies and further digitization of our business we can create efficiencies that create capacity that help us to grow, which will take pressure off the labor line," he said.

What's Next: Artificial Chicken?

The sudden growth of demand for plant-based beef products and meat alternative options isn't likely to spread to the chicken wings sector, Morrison said. It is unlikely a market exists for "artificial chicken wings." The company plans on to continue doing what it does best: "wings, sides, and fries."

Wing stop traded higher by 4 percent Tuesday to $84.45 per share.

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