John Liford doesn’t know what to expect when customers set up camp in Buffalo Wild Wings’ parking lot tonight in anticipation of Monday’s grand opening.
While some may shun the overnight affair, there are 52 reasons to be among the first in line at the restaurant for its 10 a.m. opening: The first 100 customers get six free wings once a week for a year.
Liford, the restaurant’s general manager, said he’s eagerly anticipating Monday’s opening and the build-up surrounding it.
Buffalo Wild Wings hosted “soft” openings Friday and Saturday for customers with passes in order to prepare the staff, and the overnight camp will feature music, free promotional items and the possibility of 312 free wings.
“Basically we’re going to hang out,” Liford said during Saturday afternoon’s “soft” opening that drew more than 40 customers at one point. “The first 100 guests that walk through the door will get a booklet. The booklet’s good for coupons, and the coupons are for six free wings once a week for a full year.
“… It’s going to be a few hundred dollars (in savings).”
Store managers will be on hand tonight, and Porta-Potties will be available for those staying overnight, Liford said.
The restaurant in Parkside Shopping Center will be Liford’s first as general manager, but he’s been with Buffalo Wild Wings for two years.
Liford says he’s talked to a few eager campers already and has seen firsthand how wing lovers in Salem, Ore., and other locations have crowded parking lots in anticipation of a new Buffalo Wild Wings opening.
When asked what kind of crowd he expects tonight and Monday morning, Liford couldn’t offer a guess.
“It depends on how motivated Frankfort is,” he said. “It’s going to be on the people around here.”
The Frankfort restaurant is also the first among Buffalo Wild Wings’ more than 800 locations to donate proceeds of sales on the company’s signature sauces and dry rubs to the Special Olympics during its opening week, Liford said.
Alcohol and dessert sales during the “soft” openings were also donated to Special Olympics, he said.
There’s no set fundraising mark, but Liford said the goal “is to run out of everything.”
“If we actually get a big enough push, all Buffalo Wild Wings will start doing it as the new rollout, so basically it’s a test phase,” Liford said.