Why 2021 Is the Year To Own a Dicky’s Bbq Franchise


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The coronavirus pandemic turned everything on its head. After experiencing the longest bull market in the history of the country, the shutdowns of 2020 and subsequent business closings saw our economy take a nosedive, and although the unprecedented nature has brought with it a sense of caution for what lays ahead there has been some recovery as we all get used to this “new normal.” 

Amidst all of this turmoil and uncertainty, many of us have begun to reconsider the trajectory of our professional lives thus far. As paradigms about the separation of work and life that have existed since the industrial revolution have been uprooted, questions have arisen such as “Am I really happy in my current role? Do I feel fulfilled in what I am doing each day?” We have been reminded that life is short, and the desire to be one’s own boss, make the decisions, lead people and build a legacy is an alluring one. 

Despite the difficulties we currently face in our economy, many experts are predicting that 2021 will prove to be a strong year for the franchise industry. The nature of franchises already demands constant adaptability and growth, but the pandemic compelled the sector as a whole to quickly evolve in new and innovative ways. Just look at Dickey’s Barbeque Franchise, the fastest-growing barbecue franchise in the world, whose rapid adaptations in light of the pandemic saw it not only survive but thrive. The creative pivots taken by them, and other franchises have resulted in a stronger industry that stands poised to take on the new information age.

How franchising works

While the franchising process can vary from business to business, as an example let’s say that you are going to buy and open your own Dickey’s BBQ franchise. According to their website, to qualify financially you will need to have $100,000 minimum in liquid capital (not borrowed) and a minimum net worth of $300,000. For a traditional store, the total costs to open the restaurant will be anywhere from $256,360 to $440,045 which accounts for buying or renting a location, setting up a kitchen and dining room, stocking inventory, setting up utilities, etc. Once established, Dickey’s royalty fee is five percent of net sales and their marketing fund is four percent of net sales. 

The initial fee for a Dickey’s BBQ franchise is $20,000, with the other costs going to suppliers. They start with a mutual evaluation process, during which time they will get to know you to ensure it will be a good fit for both parties. After the evaluation and completion of the necessary paperwork, they have a real estate manager with the company work with you to help pick the best location for your restaurant, in addition to assisting with lease comparison and negotiation. A construction manager is then brought in to oversee all aspects of site construction and ensure your restaurant is up to the standards of a Dickey’s BBQ franchise. 

While the physical location is being developed, you will also go through Dickey’s “Barbecue University” training program. During three weeks of classroom-style training and hands-on training in a real Dickey’s BBQ Pit, you will learn the ins and outs of the barbecue business such as quality standards, service, formulas and specifications for menu items, inventory control techniques, and of course becoming a Pitmaster. Once the location is near completion it is time to get ready for the grand opening. After building a team of managers and employees, Dickey’s will send in a New Store Opening manager to provide guidance on drumming up interest in the restaurant’s opening, and an operations manager provides support for the nitty-gritty details, setting you up for success in the future. 

Start a business with the support of a proven model

As demonstrated above, by owning a franchise you are able to start a business with the support of an already successful brand. The royalty fees can be seen as payment for the franchise’s already established and proven business strategy, marketing strategy, operations strategy and name recognition. Rather than going forward all on your own, companies such as Dickey’s BBQ franchise provide you with the framework and support that can enable you to get a quicker return on your own investment. In addition to helping you start the restaurant, they are available for ongoing support and allow you access to their proven systems for technology and programs. The support can be particularly useful in times of distress such as during the pandemic lockdowns last year. For example, Dickey’s BBQ franchise cut royalties in half for over a quarter of the year, helping their franchisees significantly with their cash flow and ability to retain employees. 

Access to capital 

The pandemic has led to historically low-interest rates, and central banks have indicated that rock-bottom rates aren’t expected to rise until 2023. That means borrowing money for any reason –– including starting a business –– costs much less than it did a year ago and opens up the possibility for you to qualify for the capital needed to start a franchise. Additionally, lenders, in general, tend to be more comfortable financing the purchase of a franchise than a new business due to the brand’s proven track record. Bankers usually see successful chains such as a Dickey’s franchise as having a lower risk of repayment default and as a result, are more likely to loan money to those seeking a loan for that purpose. 

Technological advancements

The coronavirus pandemic caused a rapid shift from in-person dining to online, contactless delivery, and carryout, requiring all restaurants to either find a way to quickly adapt or fail. The resources available to a franchise are much greater than that of a small business, which allows them to make these adjustments quickly and incorporate more high-tech solutions. Dickey’s BBQ franchise was already investing heavily in big data and other technological solutions within their franchises, and as a result, they were one of the first brands to launch a contactless delivery system less than two weeks after the coronavirus was declared a pandemic. While much of the world has opened up and indoor dining has returned, many of the advancements such as these are here to stay and have better-positioned franchises for the future. 

As we have inched our way out of the distress the pandemic caused to our economy and our livelihood, people are going to want to get back to living. Everybody misses hugs, handshakes, and even just speaking to each other face-to-face, and while the restaurant industry suffered greatly during the COVID-19 crisis this heightened enthusiasm will serve as a force that swings the pendulum in the other direction. A huge boom in interest is expected, and indeed already occurring, in returning to the activities we loved previously, and people will be glad to return to those comforting brands that have stood the test of time such as Dickey’s BBQ franchise. 

If you’re considering making a career change, a franchise may be the ideal step for you to take toward business ownership. While doing so on the heels of a pandemic may seem crazy, it may actually be the best time to start fresh and follow your dreams.

Heron Nelson

Heron is a business blogger with a focus on personal finance and wealth management. With over 7 years of experience writing about financial topics, Heron has established herself as a trusted voice in the personal finance space. She has a deep understanding of financial concepts and strategies, and is able to explain them in a relatable and actionable way for her readers.