Shares of Wingstop (WING), a Dallas-based chicken wing restaurant chain, rose nearly 70% in their market debut on Friday, valuing the company at $914 million.
Wingstop, which operates over 750 “pre-jet” aviation-themed restaurants in the United States and six other countries, makes chicken wings in a dozen quirky flavors, ranging from the spiciest “atomic” to least-spicy teriyaki.
The IPO raised $40.9 million for Wingstop and $69.4 million for selling stockholders, including former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman.
Football and chicken wings have a long shared history.
About 1.25 billion wings were thought to have been devoured during Super Bowl XLIX in February, according to the National Chicken Council.
Aikman, the face of the company as well as a director, reaped about $1.4 million from the sale of nearly 72,000 shares, which were priced at $19 each, above the expected range of $16-18.
The stock hit a high of $31.99 in early trading.
Wingstop’s listing coincides with a revival in U.S. restaurant stocks as low gas prices and a brighter job maket encourage Americans to dine out.
Recent IPOs in the fast-casual space include burger chain Shake Shack (SHAK) and chicken-and-biscuit company Bojangles (BOJA).