I recently read an article in Entrepreneur Magazine about innovation. The gist of the article was about how many businesses fall into the trap of growing but neglecting techniques and systems that generate new ideas. While innovation isn’t a term you would normally associate with a 74-year-old barbecue chain, it’s actually a core focus of our company and the bread and butter of any successful business.
My family has set out to reinvent the world of barbecue and this requires us to recreate, reimagine and disrupt our industry on a daily basis. Launching a regional restaurant brand on to the national stage was a bold move when we first started franchising in 1994. It took the collaborative creativity of skilled entrepreneurial leaders and passion. We didn’t consider ourselves trailblazers but as it turns out we were doing something that had never been done.
We continue pioneering in our industry and also within our own brand. Although we have deep roots and traditions, we are always looking for groundbreaking ideas from outside our four walls. We scour the retail and restaurant industries for best practices and our core team is comprised of avid readers; anything from business books to convention papers. We still focus on core values and traditions – really sticking to what made us great in the first place but we refuse to get set in our ways. There’s a big difference between honoring tradition and stagnation.
Creating new ideas and generating disruptive thought processes are keys to growth and modernization. This includes everything from the music in our restaurants to Dickey’s craft paper packaging to our web presence or even a logo update; it lets our guests know we’re a modern company. Staying fresh also means being on the fast track of new technology. Our guests are busy people and expect an efficient experience which includes online ordering and text capabilities. We’re bringing a level of sophistication to the barbecue industry through big data, allocation of resources and predictive analytics that will allow us to serve our guests with state-of-the-art precision.
In today’s fast paced, quick serve environment, creating a relevant brand takes strategy and innovation. Guests are demanding more from their brand experiences than ever before. Our commitment to our guests goes beyond authentic, quality, slow smoked barbecue. We are committed to innovation, the secret sauce to a best-in class guest experience.