How Big Is the Demand for Barbecue?

Bar-B-Cutie is meeting the demand for authentic BBQ in underserved markets nationwide

Americans have been in love with barbecue, or BBQ as it is more commonly known now, since the 19th century. Time magazine reports in an article titled, “A Brief History of Barbecue,” that the slow roasting of meat, “for a really, really long time,” was perfected in the 1800’s in the American South, and that the regional rivalries that still persist between the BBQ touchstones of America — Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas — were born out of the meat that was most accessible to the region:

“Locals defend their region’s cooking style with the sort of fierce loyalty usually reserved for die-hard sports fans,” Time magazine states. “Just as you’re better off not mentioning the Yankees to a Red Sox fan, it’s probably best not to proclaim your love for Texas beef to anyone from Tennessee.”

An infographic: 95% of Americans love BBQ

It’s not surprising, given how deeply rooted BBQ is in American history, that the traditional southern cuisine is overwhelmingly beloved by a wide majority of our population. QSR magazine reports that, “Barbecue has a wide appeal with over 95 percent of Americans saying they like barbecue, and nearly one-third saying that they eat barbecue or barbecue-sauced foods in any given week.” The popularity of BBQ has translated into $2.9 billion worth of sales for a niche segment of the U.S. restaurant industry, according to Chicago Business, stating that BBQ restaurant sales grew “nearly double the growth of the overall industry,” in 2014.

BBQ has also found its way into popular culture.  First We Feast reports in an article titled, “The State of the BBQ Union:”

“Barbecue has found its way onto reality television shows like Barbecue Pitmasters and Shark Tank; the national barbecue competition circuit boasts hundreds of events and millions of dollars in purses; and against all laws of the universe, New York has even emerged as a new barbecue destination—leading to questions about whether it should be considered a capital alongside cities like Austin, Kansas City, and Memphis.”

A smiling group of people eat Barbecue at a wooden table

Bar-B-Cutie is getting BBQ right

You would think that given the long history of BBQ in America, a brand would be synonymous with the cuisine, perhaps with thousands of locations open across the country. This has yet to be case. Out of the nearly 2,000 BBQ restaurants in America, there are only a few national franchise brands, and those chains range from a couple of units to a few hundred in regional markets. The market remains wide open.

Bar-B-Cutie, founded in 1950, has been serving up hot, fresh and authentic BBQ for over half a century. The brand new Bar-B-Cutie SmokeHouse franchise is the result of a lifetime spent in the BBQ restaurant business. It’s a streamlined, easy-to-own, easy-to-scale operation that puts the emphasis on exceptional customer service, and of course, BBQ that cannot be beat.

A photograph of steak, sausage, and coleslaw on a buffet table

The menu is truly something to behold: six types of smoked meat, including brisket, pork, chicken, ribs and sausage, as well as salads, fried items and an array of southern comfort mainstay side items such as cream corn, potato salad and coleslaw. Every Bar-B-Cutie restaurant is outfitted with a pit master, an artisan who presides over the long hours of slow roasting meat over a large, wood-burning smoker, so that when the meat is ready to serve, it falls off the bone and has the marble-like texture our customers crave until they return to see us.

A photograph of a server holding barbecue nachos

“People come in every single day,” says Ronnie McFarland, CEO of Bar-B-Cutie. “It’s an amazing thing to witness. Our restaurants become like Cheers, a place where everybody knows your name. But really, they come because the food really is that good. After more than 65 years of doing this, our BBQ stands up with the best of the world. We know how to make good BBQ. We live it. The new Bar-B-Cutie SmokeHouse restaurants in Texas are becoming destinations for the locals, who want food that they cannot make in their homes. Good BBQ is hard to make and hard to get, which reflects in the fact that our average ticket has grown to $17-$20 since we opened in Texas.”

Ready to open a Bar-B-Cutie in your community?

Bar-B-Cutie is a low-cost investment opportunity with potential for high returns, with the total investment estimate to begin operations on a new Bar-B-Cutie franchise ranging from $266,986 – $428,694. Because our build-out costs and ongoing overhead can be substantially lower than other brands in the fast casual, QSR and fast food segments, Bar-B-Cutie offers a quicker ramp-up time, which allows for a potentially faster return on investment. The franchise fee for your Bar-B-Cutie SmokeHouse franchise is $35,000.

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