Few things are better than the passion and satisfaction that is brought by the wonderful aroma of BBQ food.
There is no doubt in anyones mind that if barbecue was a national food, in the United States it would win without losing a breath. One of the core reasons behind this is the simple fact that barbecue is enjoyed World over by almost every culture that you can imagine, and as such, enjoys a level of popularity not seen in other types of cuisine.
On top of that, every person that is capable of holding a pair of barbecue tongs also has their own personal favorites and knows how to best cook and present their favorite BBQ dishes.
Within the United States, there are four well known styles of barbecue that exist; from Memphis, Texas, Kansas City and Carolina, and within each of these states, barbecue restaurant franchises are available and offer an exciting opportunity to new restaurant owners seeking a successful business model within a well established market.
To whet your appetite for business in the Barbecue Franchise Market, here is the “meat” of the facts!
1) 7, 429 Barbecue Franchises operating since 1998; this figure has risen dramatically from 1998 – 2008. (1998 Recount U.S., a service of NPD Foodservice Information Group, Rosemont, IL.)
2) Burgers (82%), steak (79%), chicken (72%) and hot dogs (71%) top the list of the most popular BBQ foods prepared on a hot barbecue grill!
3) Charcoal grill owners are most often prompted to cook on their charcoal grills by a desire to eat great tasting food (77%)
4) Four in ten consumers who eat from a charcoal grill (39%) normally use barbecue sauce to add flavor to their dishes. Most popular flavors include hickory (65%), mesquite (49%) and honey (49%). (Source: The Hearth, Barbecue and Patio Survey 2007)
5) The first bottled barbecue sauce originated in Kansas City. (Dotty Griffith, Celebrating Barbecue…, 2002)
Is investing in a BBQ Franchise a sensible thing to do?
Passion for food is paramount to run any successful BBQ restaurant franchise, and if you have the energy and will to succeed, then you should seriously consider taking up the reigns on a barbecue franchise.
If you have a strong gut feeling that there is a great opportunity for a barbecue franchise in the area that you are considering launching, then start looking for a franchise that fits your financial criteria while satisfying your diners.
It should be known that the first year is the hardest for any franchisee and it is rare for a new BBQ franchise to break even. This is the nature of starting a new restaurant franchise.
How much does it cost to run a BBQ restaurant franchise?
To start your own barbecue restaurant franchise, you should be ready to invest in the regions of $75,000 and $250,000 in total capital investment.
Your BBQ franchise fee can be expected to average out at around $35,000 and the franchisor may possibly take a cut of around five per cent of your takings.
Locations, meanwhile, are likely to be large and spacious. You’ll need to have a customer-facing approach that can fill that space, night after night.
Some franchisors construct from scratch to guarantee standardized experiences. Bar-B-Cutie for example, takes between 90 days and six months to build and prepare a site, so bear this in mind. If you are in a hurry to get started, that may not be the way to go as that could douse your grilling dreams in a bucket of cold water.
You could also find that barbecue restaurant franchisors want to be hands-on and take the lead on designing your BBQ restaurant so that it blends in with the franchise’s brand.
This can include things like staff workwear, menus, dinner plates and so forth; leading names like the well-known barbecue restaurant chain such as the 55-year-old Bar-B-Cutie, are adamant in ensuring that their corporate identity is kept intact within their outlets.
If, on the other hand, you prefer running things your way, then it would be wise to seek a smaller barbecue restaurant franchise as they often have less stringent controls on the way you run your business.
It should go without saying, but always read the small print in any franchises terms and conditions, as they will all vary, some to your liking, and some not.
If you think you are ready to take up the tongs on your own barbecue franchise and open your own restaurant, take a look through these fiery franchise delight below and see what lights your fire.
The current list of active Barbecue Restaurant Franchises in the United States.
BD’s Mongolian BBQ
Since 1992, BD’s has been delivering a unique, interactive dining experience that sets them apart from the competition focusing on: Fun, Choice and Control. BD’s are currently looking for franchise partners to help them build on the success they have experienced with both owner-operated and franchise restaurants.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
When you open a Dickey’s BBQ restaurant franchise, you’re not just opening a restaurant. You’re becoming part of the family. That’s why Dickey’s is the biggest fast-casual barbecue brand in the United States, and also the fastest growing.
Dickey’s are quite selective about who they choose to join the Dickey’s BBQ franchise family. Whether it’s an Owner/Operator or a team member, they select only the the very best.
Famous Dave’s Barbeque
Famous Dave’s is a “specialty” casual dining restaurant franchise, creating environments that transcend current restaurant offerings by serving the highest quality, flavor-intense foods in surroundings that are stimulating, interesting and fun! Famous Dave’s is more than a restaurant – it’s an escape from the ordinary.
As of June 15, 2009, Famous Dave’s had 176 restaurants open – 46 corporate and 130 franchised locations in 38 states. They have been ranked #1 in our restaurant category by ‘Entrepreneur Magazine’ in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009.
Sonny’s reputation wasn’t built overnight – it’s been almost 40 years in the making. Sonny’s Bar-B-Q customer acceptance is based on their unwavering commitment to making outstanding Bar-B-Q served by outstanding people.
Today, their success continues as a result of a strong family of dedicated franchisees backed by a solid system that delivers consistent products and profits.
At Sonny’s Franchise Company, community involvement is a top priority. That’s why they support various community initiatives throughout the southeast. Sonny’s has strong partnerships in Education, Arts & Humanities, Charitable Initiatives, Youth Development and Human Services.
Their business model has been specifically designed to be family friendly to the customers and the franchise owner. Owners are drawn to the BBQ business because of the lifestyle freedoms that are unique to their chain that opens at 11 am and closes no later than 9pm.
Virginia Barbecue are also quick to point out that, “Americans now spend 47.9 percent of their annual food budget in restaurants, making it nearly equal with grocery stores and other retailers as their main source of food, the NRA stated.”
Woody’s have a passion for Bar-B-Q, and a passion for great franchise partners. With a lower start-up entry cost and outstanding franchisee support, Woody’s is a great opportunity within the fast-growing casual dining segment. And, Bar-B-Q is hotter than ever.
Woody’s are commited to training new franchisees in all aspects of operating a new BBQ franchise business and provide dynamic opening advertising assistance and customer generation techniques, and the toll-free support line means that as a new franchisee, you will always have someone on hand to help.
About the Author
I hope you enjoyed reading about BBQ restaurant franchises in the United States. If you would like more barbecue ideas for your next BBQ, head over to Barbecue Party for hundreds of varied and delicious barbecue recipes. You may also like to find out more about these popular Barbecue Restaurant Franchises and read the finer details.