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Wingstop Grand Opening

Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty

The current nationwide shortage of chicken wings and rising prices has compelled Wingstop to get customers to appreciate chicken thighs by making it part of their menu, with Rick Ross leading the charge.

On Monday (June 21, the restaurant chain introduced “Thighstop,” a virtual brand with crispy chicken thighs as the centerpiece. The chain made the move in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which limited production and supply of chicken wings in the nation. Rick Ross, who owns 28 Wingstop franchises, has stepped up to promote it heavily with new posts on his Instagram page as the “Thigh Boss”.

In an interview with Yahoo, Ross said, “We know how Wingstop perfected wings. Now, just imagine that juiciest part of the meat, and we boss it up, baby.”

Customers can order from the new brand’s menu on Wingstop’s website or DoorDash for pickup or delivery, with the price being the same as an order of wings. They can also opt to go boneless or bone-in, with the same assortment of sides and eleven sauce choices.

The company’s CEO, Charles Morrison pointed to the pricing on chicken parts in the current market as a major factor for the move. “We believe we can make them a center-of-the-plate item,” Morrison said in an interview with CNN Business. “If we can buy all parts of the chicken, not just the breast meat for boneless wings and the wings themselves…we can start to control a little bit more of the supply chain.” Wingstop saw their sales grow by 21% at their restaurants in 2020 due to the pandemic causing them to close for sit-in dining and focus on delivery.