• May 10, 2021

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit: a Family Run Business

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is a Texas-based chain of fast-casual restaurants. By adopting a franchise model, the chain has grown to more than 500 locations across 44 states in the U.S. There are even plans to expand Internationally to countries such as Singapore, Japan, Pakistan, and Australia.

The company has been family-run since its inception in 1941. That is the year when Travis Dickey, a World War I veteran, opened the first location along with his wife, Ollie. The menu was limited and based around slow-smoked barbecue. Travis cooked in the pit, and Ollie worked at the counter.

When the senior Travis Dickey passed away in 1967, his two sons took over the business. Travis junior (known as T.D.) and Roland added some complimentary items to the menu and started expanding to additional locations in the Dallas area. The restaurants were very popular. The brothers realized that the demand for more locations was too great for them to manage alone. In 1994 the brothers started utilizing a franchise model to allow the concept to expand to more areas.

Each franchisee must adhere to the high standards set for a Dickey’s Barbecue Pit location. Not only must the restaurant match the menu and theme, but each franchise owner must ensure they only use high-quality food suppliers.

In 2006, the company’s leadership passed to Roland Dickey junior when he became CEO of the company. Along with his wife, Laura Rea Dickey, Roland began modernizing the way the business operates. The couple integrated information technology into the company to help modernize the business side. The system allows the company to analyze data about sales, loyalty programs, customer surveys, and inventory to make better business decisions.

To further expand the business, Roland junior has transitioned to CEO of Dickey’s Capital Group. Laura Rea Dickey has been named CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.