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Jan 11, 2011 09:55 PM

Wild Wings vs. Buffalo Wild Wings - Canadian vs. U.S. chains (split from Ontario board)

I'd rather Anchor Bar open a location here. They would win :-)

But as for Buffalo WWs vs WW, I want BWW to demolish the local copycat, for one important reason: in order to encourage the other American chains (Fuddrucker's, Five Guys, Chick-Fil-A, Carl's Jr., Famous Dave's, etc) to also expand here.

Last thing we need is another invader crash-and-burn (Krispy Kreme, Wolfgang Puck, and Papa John's come to mind) to scare away the foreign competition we badly need. For the xenophobes, keep in mind that they are employing Canadians while here, to build their restaurants and then run them. More American imports, more jobs for us. So on that note I will support the American. Once BWW opens in Oshawa I'll be there. I will never set foot in Wild Wing (or their stupid Pink Burger), on principle.

If the WW owner wins his lawsuit, then that means every Canadian business that wants to avoid competition can do so in the courtroom. Lick's wants to block Fuddruckers? Easy, register "" and claim they own the trademark. This sets a very dangerous precedent.

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  1. I'm pretty sure that's not how trademark law works.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jamesm

      Seems like this is a popular game in Canada. I know it's slightly off-topic but is another example:

      So, Canadian clothing store chain Fairweather opens a few token stores under the "Target Apparel" name (and using, conveniently, a red and white colour scheme) in order to block Target's entry into the market.

      Also, wasn't there a "Montana" restaurant downtown (which was featured in Restaurant Makeover), at the same time as the "Montana's Cookhouse Saloon" chain (owned by Cara Operations)? I don't recall any court intervention there.

      Again, I say let the market decide who sinks or swims, not the courtroom.

      1. re: TexSquared

        I rarely go to Zeller's but every time I do I'm amazed at how much it's looking more and more like a Target.


        1. re: Davwud

          I don't go into Zellers often but to me it was always a poor clone of Walmart (more cluttered, narrower aisles) but using Target's red and white color scheme. The new American owners (first Jerry Zucker, then HRDC Equity) must have decided to clean it up to make them more attractive for eventual transfer to Target, which is what has happened. I hope the Pickering Zellers (which is a disorganized mess I prefer to avoid) is one that gets converted to Target, as it's not a total sale of the chain but just a transfer of most of the leases.

    2. I for one wouldnt mind some more Chipotle's in places I can actually drive to without paying...

      1. I'd prefer that we have our own home grown brand but that's not always gonna work. I'm not a big "Protectionist" because my firm belief is, I want the best no matter where it comes from. If ours isn't good enough, stop whining (or suing) and make it better.

        All that said, I'll go to WW before BWW since I've been to both and find WW to be better. Neither is anything more than okay but they are what they are. I go to the local WW sometimes because it's convenient, the girl who owns it is nice (and I feel sorry for her), it's usually not busy so I can get whatever I want on TV and the beer is cold.

        I've talked to people who've dealt with the WW corp. and I really don't care for their business practice. To sum it up in one word, "Greedy."


        19 Replies
        1. re: Davwud

          "I want the best no matter where it comes from. If ours isn't good enough, stop whining (or suing) and make it better."

          Exactly. Put simply, "Let the market decide".

          Tim Horton's donuts are garbage to me, but the market supported them over Krispy Kreme. Olive Garden failed against locally-owned East Side Mario and Alice Fazooli's*. Outback Steakhouse got beat by locally-owned The Keg (not sure which failed first, Outback or Biftheque). Starbucks came in and didn't finish the job they set out to do - Second Cup is alive and well. And I certainly don't see a rapid Canadian expansion of Tony Roma's, Applebee's and Chili's which to me means they're not doing too well against incumbents Jack Astor's, Kelsey's and Montana's.

          In all these cases, the locals didn't sue the foreigners to try to keep them out. The invader got beat fair and square.

          For a guy who is a retired pro boxer, Wild Wing's owner should be ashamed of himself. He's ducking a fight like Floyd Mayweather ducking Manny Pacquiao! :-) He should look around -- given the pattern above, he's not the underdog at all. It's the Americans that are getting beat on our soil.

          * I do smell a rat here; I suspect SIR Corp named their Italian chain that so they can employ a similar strategy to keep the American "Fazoli" chain out of Canada....

          1. re: TexSquared

            I had read an article some time back about the two trying to come to some sort of deal on naming rights. In the US I believe. Now it seems like that either deal has fallen through or it didn't go well for WW. Perhaps this is a little retribution??

            As you said, let the market decide. He could hang the "Proudly Canadain" label on it and send BWW back to the states.


            1. re: Davwud

              What's also worth noting is, WW is a fast-food/take-out type of place (the one near my house is next door to a Little Caesar's in a strip plaza) while BWW is a full-service sit-down restaurant, more along the lines of Boston Pizza or Kelsey's.

              Entirely different restaurant types. This isn't like Starbucks vs Second Cup where they're essentially clones of each other.

              I don't support "proudly Canadian" alone. I support quality and service, at a fair price. No matter who owns the business. And I find just how much the Americans "get it" and the Canadians don't, every time I'm across the border.

              1. re: TexSquared

                I know plenty of people who won't support and American company and think I'm anti Canadian for doing so. Even though they were at TH 5 times a day when Wendy's owned them.


                1. re: Davwud

                  Don't get me started on the brainwashing of Canadians by Tim Horton's....

                  1. re: TexSquared

                    Please don't hit me, but I've had great hot big crispy breaded chicken wings at Kelseys. It can be hit and miss from store to store. In fact, one young cook put so much cinnamon in the wing sauce (he said it enhanced the heat), we had to ask for a replacement "regular" order. But they were good.

                    PS Coffee Time make a much better richer tasting brew than Timmy's.

                    1. re: PoppiYYZ

                      I won't hit you, but to me, breaded = crap. A proper Buffalo wing is NOT breaded (Duff's, Anchor Bar, Barbill, etc -- none of them bread the wings as it's wrong) If I want breaded wings I'd buy them frozen at M&M or Costco and fry/bake them myself.

                      No surprise Coffee Time makes better coffee. Timmy's has brainwashed enough people, they could serve hot tap water in place of the coffee and people would still line up at the drive thru for it.

                      1. re: TexSquared

                        The old chocolate and vanilla argument.

                        I like 'em both ways so it's all good to me.


                        1. re: Davwud

                          So you're saying hot tap water in a Timmie's cup is the equal of Coffee Time's coffee? :-)

                          Joking of course, but my point was, if it's breaded it's not Buffalo. It's still a wing obviously, but not authentic Buffalo style. Like calling California rolls "traditional Japanese sushi" or the junk from Bourbon St. Grill as "authentic Cajun food".

                          1. re: TexSquared

                            Coffee Time coffee is pretty good but I never go there unless someone drags me to one. I always call it Crack Time based on the unsavoury customers and locations that 90% of CT seems to be have. Tims I dont really mind, I guess my mind has been warped sufficiently enough into buying them but they are just too hit or miss when it comes to quality.

                            I gotta admit, last November when McDonalds had their free coffee I was having a ton of it and its really good, very consistant too. If you have been avoiding that coffee just because its from McDs you should atleast give it a try...

                2. re: TexSquared

                  I wonder if WW locations differ as the one near me Winston Churchill and QEW is full service sitdown with TV's, although no bar sit down area. Have you been to ther locations to compare? I have not.

                  1. re: fryerlover

                    I completely agree with the statement above "I want the best no matter where it comes from" and let the market decide (one of the main reason I want more than simply hotdogs sold form the stands around the city but that's a different debate), BUT, and it's a big but, if WW has already established its name in the Canada, and the GTA specifically, then he SHOULD be allow to protect his name. If BWW snoozed and didn't trademark the name in Canada, too bad for them. But by the same token, WW shouldn't be allowed to open in the US under the same name either.
                    It's his brand name and his intellectual property. *YOU* may know the difference between WW/BWW, and *I* may know the difference, but we're foodies. The average person may not, and so he has a right, and a responsibility to his franchisees who have bought into the name, to protect the brand name and logo.

                    1. re: Midknight

                      There in lies my belief. I think he can't use the WW in the US but BWW wants to use their's up here. I believe they were supposed to come to an agreement and they're trying to bully him.


                      1. re: Midknight

                        "*YOU* may know the difference between WW/BWW, and *I* may know the difference, but we're foodies. The average person may not, and so he has a right, and a responsibility to his franchisees who have bought into the name, to protect the brand name and logo."

                        Oh come on, are you insulting the general public's intelligence? Let's take a good look at the logos separately:

                        Black/white/yellow scheme, silhouette of a buffalo with wings in front of a sunset.

                        Red, white, and teal with a palm tree in the center.

                        Unless you're visually impaired, those logos are so different you couldn't possibly go into the wrong place. They're as different as Tim Hortons vs Jack Astor's. Unless BWW comes in here and starts using red-white-teal with palm trees and takes "Buffalo" out of their name, this case should be tossed by the judge.

                  2. re: Davwud

                    "He could hang the "Proudly Canadain" label on it and send BWW back to the states."

                    Walmart talks about how many Canadians they employ. Like them or not, if Wally closed up shop in Canada tomorrow there would be thousands more unemployed.

                    Which goes back to what I'm saying -- support American businesses who invest here, or at the very least, support businesses that sell quality products, give good service, and charge a fair price for it. We need more foreign investment, not less. If the other companies thinking of coming north see yet another failure (Krispy Kreme, Olive Garden, Outback. Sam's Club) they'll rightfully say "bad place to invest" and take their money elsewhere, like China. Someone else mentioned Chipotle -- they must be having a tough go of it here to not be expanding.

                    At least in the restaurant and retail businesses there are no government-supported cartels like in communications/media (CRTC), banking, and agriculture (marketing boards). So the market can truly decide who sinks and who swims, not the government.

                    1. re: TexSquared

                      In that case isn't the failure of those franchises just the market speaking? It's not like there are a deficit of succesful American franchises in Canada.

                      1. re: jamesm

                        They all make the same error. They all think they can do like McDonald's, Wendy's, and the other established American chains, and charge 30-70% higher prices than they do at home. The $1 menu items in America go for $1.29 to $1.69 here.

                        If you're the new kid on the block you had better undercut the incumbents or you won't be around long. Starbucks came in and if they didn't undercut Second Cup they at least price-matched (while opening as close to every SC they could). Needless to say they're still here.

                      2. re: TexSquared

                        It's possible that Chipotle is taking things slowly. Moe's too. This is not a big market for Tex/Mex that I know of.
                        It's also possible they're just waiting for the next person to write them a cheque.


                        1. re: Davwud

                          I think this is a large untapped market for Tex-Mex -- think of all the discussions we used to have in the Toronto board about "authentic burritos" and "authentic Mexican" and "authentic Tex-Mex". There must be a demand for it, otherwise local clones Burrito Boyz and Z-teca (and to a lesser extent, Lone Star Texas Grill) would have already failed....

                          Chipotle needs to expand into the suburbs. I know they're different products but Chipotle should be in every plaza/shopping mall where there's a South St. Burger. That's the same price range. Those willing to pay SSB's burger prices will be willing to pay Chipotle's burrito prices.

                3. I pray for Anchor bar to franchise, Papa John's are in Barrie I live by it, its good but Panago is better. In and Out Burger would be a great addition as well. A great coffee place would be good since Stabucks tastes burnt and Tim's is now a bad joke. I buy McDonalds coffee at the moment.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: TheDewster

                    I doubt In-N-Out will ever expand here. Remember, they only serve fresh beef, prepared in their California headquarters -- so they can't open more than a day's truck drive away from home office. I think their furthest location is Salt Lake City, Utah.

                    if they wanted to expand here they'd have to fly beef in from L.A. every day. Imagine the cost of the "FedEx Express" burgers :-(

                    1. re: TexSquared

                      Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder does "Animal Style" burgers and kick ass fried chicken. 699 St.Clair Avenue West
                      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
                      M6C 1B2 check out, if you go have the beignets incredible!

                      1. re: TexSquared

                        Or they could open a series of franchises all over the east coast including NY State and Ontario and other major locales, and they could open a new meat processing facility for this coast...

                        1. re: jmarcroyal

                          If they did that they'd probably only serve the northeastern states (densely populated area) and not bother with Canada (sparsely populated plus the border hassles). As long as they open one in Buffalo or Niagara Falls, perfect!

                    2. I've tried both WW and BWW and not a fan of either. WW doesn't give you the choice of breaded or unbreaded and BWW chicken tastes very bland to seasonings. There is a wing place called Wing Stop that operates mostly in the Southwest region of the US I would prefer to see them open here instead of BWW.