NEW YORK (AP) _ Wingstop filed for an initial public offering worth $86.3 million Wednesday, joining a growing pack of restaurants that are becoming publicly traded companies.
A changing American palate has boosted traffic at “fast casual” chains. Those chains have sought big and fast cash infusions through IPOs to speed growth.
Shake Shack Inc. raised more than $100 million in a January IPO. El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. and sandwich maker Potbelly Corp. went public last year. Those IPOs followed those of Mediterranean-style restaurant chain Zoe’s Kitchen Inc., which raised $87.5 million, and Noodles & Co., which raised $96.5 million.
Wingstop is seeking to grow fast as well. The Dallas chain opened 100 restaurants last year, bringing its U.S. total to 670. It has 40 more locations in Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Almost all of its restaurants, which serve 11 varieties of wings in addition to sides and seasoned fries, are run by franchisees.
The company’s annual profit grew to $9 million from $7.5 million in 2014 and revenue rose 15 percent to $67.4 million.
Wingstop Inc. didn’t reveal how many shares it plans to sell, but said that some stock will be sold by company shareholders. The company plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “WING.”