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August 12, 2013

Duff's Famous Wings in Niagara Falls opened with a sizzle

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Tonawanda News — On a recent Wednesday, during a fast paced lunch hour, Niagara Falls residents Laurie and John Mettler, enjoying a plate of wings, confirmed what the owners said about locals being even more supportive than anticipated.  

The pair said they’d begun watching for the restaurant to open as soon as they saw the sign go up.  

“I said, ‘Oh, we’re getting a Duff’s,’ “ noted Laurie, who said the wings were “really good.” John, who admitted he was not really a wings fan, declared the wings “fantastic.”

The Niagara Falls restaurant is the ninth Duff’s location, and the third franchise. The original Duff’s was opened on Sheridan Drive and Millersport Road in Amherst in 1946 and began serving wings in 1967, according to Jeff Feather, president of the Duff’s franchise group.

There are five Duff’s stores owned by the original company, including one in Cheektowaga where the President of the United States stopped in for an order in 2010. The company decided to move towards franchising when, after gaining presidential approval, their wings beat out the famous Anchor Bar, where Buffalo wings were invented, in a Travel Channel food war in 2012.   

There is now a Duff’s franchise at the Eastern Hills Mall and another in Texas, just outside of Dallas. Feather said franchises can cost anywhere from $250,000 to $1 million depending on a variety of factors, and noted that the company’s primary franchise goal is to continue to grow around the region and into Ohio and Pennsylvania. 

Duff’s provides instruction and counsel to all franchise owners, he said, as the company is very protective of the brand. “We like to quote the movie “Apollo 13,” he said. “Failure is not an option.” 

IF YOU GO • WHAT: Duffs Famous Wings • WHERE: 8351 Niagara Falls Blvd. • FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call 236-0333 or visit www.duffswings.com

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