Franchisers' growing appetite

Ira Levy, founder of Buffalo Wings & Beer in Gaithersburg, lacks the master franchising plans of other chains but is anticipating big returns from his company's first-place showing in this year's National Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, N.Y.

"I am ready and I am pumped. It's great that we're also in football season, which helps business, and then there's catering in the holidays. With all this recognition, we will do even more sales," Levy said. The company already has experienced a 5 percent sales increase at one of its company-owned stores over the last year.