Bar-B-Cutie Smokehouse Franchise in Front of America’s Barbecue Boom
Iconic barbecue franchise is rapidly expanding as Americans continue to go hog wild for barbecue
Every year, the National Restaurant Association surveys a wide range of food entrepreneurs to find out which foods, cuisines and culinary themes will be on Americans’ minds in the upcoming year.
Every year, barbecue’s popularity continues to rise at a rate that shows no signs of stopping.
Out of nearly 1,300 professional chefs surveyed, more than 60 percent rated barbecue as a perennial favorite, with another 25 percent listing the cuisine as a “hot trend” to be reckoned with in 2017.
“The general themes we’re seeing in the perennial favorites are items that many would consider to be in the comfort foods category,” says Annika Stensson, the National Restaurant Association’s senior manager of research communications. “And there’s a reason these foods are tenured menu favorites — they have appeal with a wide range of diners and occasions. Many are also quite versatile and can fit into different restaurant concepts, menu themes and dayparts.”
Last year, Daniel Vaughn, an industry expert whose job mandates he regularly eats barbecue, noted that barbecue joints’ popularity is growing but hasn’t yet reached its peak — good news for the aspiring restaurant owner.
“I’d even go so far as to credit the rise of barbecue with the current fascination with hearth kitchens and wood-fired cooking being revived by chefs all over the country,” Daniel writes in “The Growth of Texas BBQ,” an article for Texas Monthly.
According to CHD Expert, a food service market research company, barbecue restaurants were even “thumbing their nose at the economic downturn” back in 2011, driving home the idea that Americans want their smoked meats.
“Everyone should expect prime meats, barbecue sauces, grill products, smoker products, and other items associated with barbecue to thrive,” CHD Expert notes in a report.
Information gathered from Technomic, a Chicago-based market research firm, further solidified this claim when a 2014 study showed U.S. barbecue restaurant sales grew by 7.2 percent to $2.9 billion.
“We’re noticing a new trend in barbecue,” Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, says in a Top 500 Chain Restaurants Report. “We’re seeing patrons flock to fast-casual barbecue concepts because they offer the best of both worlds: the hospitality of a full-service, family-barbecue concept and the no-frills service of a barbecue shack.”
That’s where Bar-B-Cutie Smokehouse franchise enters, at the perfect time and place
In 1958, Eddie and Mildred McFarland, known for their Southern-style home cooking, purchased a Bar-B-Cutie location in Nashville, an iconic eatery that had started serving up down-home barbecue eight years before.
At the time, the restaurant mostly served drive-in customers, largely because the space inside only had room for four tables.
But over the next few decades, the McFarlands and Bar-B-Cutie’s homemade, authentic food had the effect all good food does: word spread, business increased and the restaurant needed to expand.
Their son, Ronnie, took over as owner in 1978 when the McFarlands retired. Ronnie has since taken the old-time eatery into the 21st century, while preserving the tradition of Southern barbecue.
“The appeal of barbecue is timeless,” Ronnie says. “Whereas other foods are subject to trends and fads, barbecue has been around forever and is ingrained in the American way of life. It isn’t going anywhere.”
There’s no denying that barbecue has a wide appeal, with more than 95 percent of Americans saying they like barbecue and nearly one-third saying they eat barbecue-type foods almost on a weekly basis, according to QSR magazine.
Bar-B-Cutie Smokehouse’s delicious food is just what the casual diner is looking for
The menu offers six types of smoked meat, including brisket, pork, chicken, ribs, turkey and sausage, which are carefully crafted by a “pit master” who tends to the slow roasting of the meat in a large, wood-burning smoker.
And, one can never forget the delicious sides of creamed corn, potato salad, fresh-cut fries and more.
The franchise has also been noted for its “easy-to-run and easy-to-scale” business modeling, which focuses on low labor costs and high average tickets to offset the cost of the meat.
“Attention to the quality of food we make is every bit as important as wanting our business model to be profitable,” Ronnie says. “We’ve developed a model where margins are high, and the food is so good customers keep coming back.”
Ready to bring the iconic barbecue franchise to your community?
Ready to learn more about Bar-B-Cutie Smokehouse franchise opportunities? You can stay up to date with the latest Bar-B-Cutie Smokehouse news on our blog and learn more about our business model by reading over our research pages. To request even more information, download our free franchise report.