Boneless vs. Bone-In: It's the Matchup Restaurants Didn't Know They Wanted to See

Did you know that 60% of wings ordered in restaurants are bone-in? At first glance you might think that number is lower than expected, but then you haven’t been watching the rise of boneless wings over the past few years. This is proven by the commitment a respected national brand like Tyson is making to boneless wings with their new Tyson Red Label line , now with new bone-in wing options and new boneless flavors.

What a difference a year makes!

In the middle of 2017 chicken wing prices had jumped to all-time highs. Restaurant operators scrambled to find alternatives and many of them arrived at the incredibly obvious alternative of boneless wings. Operators quickly established that both varieties of wings have value.

The question is, can we use that to our advantage to sell more of both? Well, obviously we think so and we’ve got a great idea for your marketing.

When traditional wing prices spiked many restaurants turned to boneless wings to offer a more profitable alternative at the time. However, now that wing prices have actually gone to multi-year lows, you have two terrifically popular menu items that appeal to almost every guest that visits your restaurant. That’s why we think you can have some fun and create a ton of energy surrounding some of your more profitable menu items.

Let guests pick some winners!

Bone-In chicken wings remain a favorite among restaurant guests.

We suggest you create a little internal competition between wing varieties on your menu. Start by featuring a weekly flavor or sauce for both wing varieties. Get your guests to vote with their wallets by offering them as a special to every visitor. Let them know that it’s a single elimination bracket like the college basketball tournament. The winners move forward until you choose a wing champion. You could also vary the competition by featuring boneless against bone-in until you crown a champion from both types and then have a “Big Game” finale.

Either way, you are engaging your guests in the competition. Post a bracket or playoff schedule so guests can track the path of their favorite flavor. You can enhance the program by including a frequency bonus for guests that participate in voting. Host a special event for crowning your champion or couple it with a big sporting event to ensure you have a great crowd.

This type of simple promotion works well because, mostly, you aren’t disrupting your regular service process by implementing it. Servers are already tasked with explaining specials. Also, guests are already inclined to order wings when they are on a menu, especially if you have both boneless and traditional available on your menu. There is one task you will have to execute well on to make sure this promotion is a success, the wings themselves.

Tyson Red Label boneless wings with drink

Make it work by easing operations!

This promotion requires that your wing flavors and sauces are innovative and something new for guests to experience. This is a tall order when there are no shortages of creative ideas surrounding wings and their preparation. You’ll need flexibility and maybe even a shortcut that will improve quality and speed of service. That’s where great base products can greatly improve your wing execution and enhance the variety of wing recipes you can include in your promotion.

As we mentioned before, you can certainly turn to Tyson Red Label products to find unique flavors as well as service ready, high quality products that will improve your turnout times for wings. Every second counts when it comes to guest expectations on how long it takes to get their food. Consequently, whether you favor a pre-cooked, pre-sauced product or want customized wings with your own signature sauce, Tyson Red Label chicken wings fit the bill.

What are you waiting for?

Now that we have outlined how simple this promotion is to execute, it’s time to get rolling. Football season is a great time to feature wings. They are profitable, popular and a perfect match to a fun promotion like the one we have described.

So, do a little planning, put together the products you want to feature and just do it. You won’t regret having some fun with your guests, especially as you see your revenue rise and guest satisfaction rise with it.