Inspire Brands Inc. will cut 132 jobs at Buffalo Wild Wings’ corporate office in Golden Valley starting in May, the company told state economic officials Wednesday.
The layoffs will happen in 11 phases through January, involving more than one-fourth of the restaurant chain’s corporate staff. The decision came after Inspire Brands, previously known as Arby’s Restaurants, acquired Buffalo Wild Wings for $2.9 billion last month. Executives since then identified jobs that overlapped with those at the Arby’s chain or that they wanted moved to its headquarters in Atlanta.
“As part of the integration of our brands, there were some positions that were eliminated,” Inspire Brands said in a statement.
Most of the layoffs will happen later in the year, with less than one-third happening over the next two months, an Inspire spokesman said. Some people are being offered jobs in Atlanta, the company told the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development in a mandated notice.
There were about 400 people working at the Buffalo Wild Wings headquarters when Arby’s first offered to purchase the company. A spokesman said Inspire won’t precisely know the ongoing staff level in Minnesota until late this year or early next year.
For a brief time after the deal closed, the former chief financial officer of Buffalo Wild Wings, Alexander Ware, led the business. Now, John Bowie, an Arby’s executive who became chief operating officer of Buffalo Wild Wings, is in charge and reports to Paul Brown, chief executive of Inspire.
Buffalo Wild Wings moved to the Twin Cities from Ohio in the late 1980s and grew from 50 restaurants in the mid-1990s to more than 1,200 today.
Inspire’s biggest shareholder is Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta investment firm that also has controlling stakes in chains such as Auntie Anne’s, Carl’s Jr., Cinnabon, Hardees, Jimmy John’s, Naf Naf Grill and Schlotzsky’s.