New York Chicken Wings Restaurant Expands to Houston with Halal Wings

There are more than 70 Wingstop locations in Houston, but Jalal Kapadia is betting his new franchise can carve out a profitable slice of Houston’s chicken wing market.

Atomic Wings, a New York-based restaurant, prides itself on its all-natural wings and 14 signature sauces. The quick service and pickup joint is expanding across the United States and Kapadia has purchased the franchise rights from Harris County.

“(Atomic Wings) has been around for decades (1981),” Kapadia said. “They’re pretty popular. Their unit sales are phenomenal. And being from the northeast, they have a unique flavor profile.”

Born in India, Kapadia moved to the United States at the age of three and lived in New York for 20 years. He eventually came to Texas where he did his undergraduate studies at the University of North Texas before landing a job in food service at Sysco.

“I was hoping to get my master’s degree at Rice and one day get into the C suite, but after graduating I kind of found my passion in entrepreneurship,” he said. “Having a hotel training, I have always been passionate about catering.”

Although there are other chicken wing restaurants in the city, such as Pluckers and Buffalo Wild Wings, Kapadia says Wingstop is still the number one name in take-out wings in Houston.

One of the main selling points of Atomic Wings is that its wings are halal. There are local mom and pop stores in Houston that sell halal wings, but Kapadia says none of them can boast about the variety of sauces and quick service their franchise can offer.

Conversely, Wingstop cannot fully claim to be halal. While the multinational may claim a few places are halal, that reputation in the United States is not concrete. (The channel did not return Chronicle emails for this story.)

“They may have certification, but it also depends on the vendors they buy products from,” Kapadia said. “Also, in some cases the menu assortment is partially halal, so they might have boneless wings as halal and boneless as non-halal.”

Kapadia largely focused on suburban Houston as potential starting points for his franchise. The population density of these areas coupled with remote working has contributed to “a lot of movement” in these areas. The fact that there was such a large Muslim population was just icing on the cake, he said.

For now, Atomic Wings is testing a location along Barker Cypress and US 290. But the company is aiming to debut in southwest Houston, possibly on Highway 6 near Sienna Plantation. . The official opening dates are not yet fixed.

“We are in the process of finalizing the leases. Based on the permits, in the first quarter of next year we should see one location. In the second and third quarters we should have two,” he said . “I already have people waiting to franchise other locations.”

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