Buying A BBQ Restaurant Franchise

Buying A BBQ restaurant franchise could be for you, the barbecue enthusiast, the perfect answer to your dreams of quitting the day job.

After all, you love cooking on a barbecue, you want to be your own boss and a franchise offers you the perfect opportunity to do what you love and make a living out of it as well.

I’ve placed below some links to the most well known BBQ restaurant franchise operators but before you go there, take some time to read the few pointers below that might help you understand yourself and your potential market a little better. It could be the best thing you ever do, but then it could be the worst, the pointers below will help you take the element of chance out of the equation.

Understand Your Values

What makes you tick?

It’s your values that underpin everything that you do. You cannot change your values, they are in your genetic make up, they drive your beliefs and opinions and ultimately determine your behavior and how you interact with other people.

You might think that running your own restaurant franchise is what you want but this may be borne more out of frustration with your current situation than and actual drive to service others. It’s essential to understand your values because it will help you determine whether you are cut out for the catering trade or not. A good business relationship systems coach will be able to help you with values analysis.

Know Your Market

You may think that a barbecue restaurant in your neighborhood is exactly what's required, but then you would wouldn’t you? After all, you’re a barbecue enthusiast! But there’s two sides to this, it’s not just about what’s needed (i.e. market demand) you also need to think about how well that demand is already satisfied (your competition).

Take time to canvass opinion in an objective way. Your friends and family will naturally support you so what you need is some neutral advice. Check out your local business networking events or the groups run by your local chamber of commerce.

Some of the franchise opportunities below will give you information about where franchise opportunities still remain. If you get to the serious stage of considering a franchise remember to use all the information available. Just because one franchise has an opportunity in your area doesn’t mean that you’re onto a sure fire winner, the market could already be saturated with competing franchises.

Eat Out

If there is a barbecue restaurant in your area, try it. Can you do better?

The most popular BBQ restaurant franchise companies are listed below:-

Corky’s Barbecue

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Famous Dave’s Barbeque

Sonny’s Bar-B-Q

Virginia Barbeque

Benefits Of A Franchise

Buying a BBQ restaurant franchise might seem to be a seriously expensive option compared with simply setting up your own barbecue restaurant but in order to clearly compare apples with apples it must be viewed over the long term and not just a short term transaction.

You’ve probably visited a few of the BBQ franchise opportunities out there and seen some of the serious chunks of change that you’d have to lay out to take one on. Surely it’s cheaper just to set up your own restaurant?

Remember that a franchise is a tried and tested business model so part of what you’re paying for (over and above the costs of kitting out your restaurant) is that much of the risk is taken away. The one proviso of course is that you understand the model and are prepared to work with the model rather than deviate. A good example of how a franchise can eliminate risk is in procurement, all the suppliers you need will have been pre qualified and audited, probably even to the extent where price is negotiated too.

Famous Dave's Pig franchise

Marketing will be tried and tested, not only do you acquire a known brand, you’ll also get support and advice how to get the brand name around your neighbourhood. Having said that, it doesn’t stop you adding your own initiatives, just make sure that you don’t throw too much money at it.

The greatest value built into a barbecue restaurant franchise is undoubtedly in the business processes. Fully tried and tested methodologies for running your business so that you get it right first time a delight your customers right through from the basics of the recipes through to the hiring and training of staff.


The Cost

A franchise model is tried and tested so you have to invest in doing it the way that is known to work right down to the very last detail of the decor.

We're talking big numbers and depending on how much you have to borrow it's going to affect profitability and also your break even point.


I like wherever possible to source ethically and support my local business colleagues. Whether your choice is to do likewise or not, working in a franchise environment will preclude you from doing so because you will have to buy from approved suppliers. The counter argument to the procurement point I made earlier.

Inevitably running ever bigger business results in compromises being made. Make sure that you understand the compromises and decide whether you are prepared to live with them or not.


Every business must have an exit strategy. Usual options will include:-

  • Closure
  • Sale
  • Handover to children
  • Public flotation

Similarly there are a multitude of reasons why you might want to exit your franchise at a planned time or unplanned time.

You only contractual option might be sale. Every BBQ restaurant franchise contract will be different so I think that this just highlights the need to get a good lawyer.

One last point, consider this webpage as food for thought, it is by no means exhaustive.

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