10/14/2019

Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith on Minimum Wages

Sally Smith, chief executive of Buffalo Wild Wings Inc., has a problem many restaurant companies would love to have: strong growth.

As she prepares to grow the chain of more than 1,000 sports bars by about 10% before the end of the year, Ms. Smith is facing the tightest labor market the restaurant industry has seen in years, rising minimum wages across the country and a federal legal determination that could make hiring even more difficult.

The Wall Street Journal talked to Ms. Smith about how she’s seeking to attract workers, reduce labor expenses and prepare for the possibility of becoming a “joint employer” with the franchisees who operate half of the company’s restaurants. Here are edited excerpts from that interview.

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