Dickey's Barbecue Pit prides itself on authenticity, innovation and barbecue sauce, one store at a time. With roots in Dallas, Travis Dickey set out to perfect Texas-style barbecue. In 1941, Travis Dickey opened the first Dickey's Barbecue Pit in Dallas, Texas. Space on the restaurant's sign was rented out to help pay the start-up costs for the restaurant and the menu was limited to beef brisket, pit hams, barbecue beans, potato chips, beer, bottled milk and sodas.
Brothers Roland Dickey and T.D. Dickey, Jr. took over the business in 1967, continuing their father's legacy of quality, hickory-smoked signature meats. Under the direction of Roland and T.D, Dickey's Barbecue Pit expanded throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area and became a staple in North Texas culture.
Franchising began 1994 to overwhelming success, maintaining quality and consistency, while carefully pushing growth. Roland Dickey, Jr. became President of the company in 2006, continuing the family tradition. The loyal patrons are what keeps Dickey's thriving in every community. Barbecue is a regional cuisine found in mostly southern states, but Dickey's Barbecue Pit is changing that one restaurant at a time. As it continues to expand from coast to coast, customers are wooed by the home-style flavor and family friendly atmosphere.Today, every location smokes all of their meats on-site at the restaurant the same way it was done in 1941. Dickey's serves up beef brisket, pulled pork, ham, polish sausage, turkey breast and chicken, with an extensive array of home-style sides from jalapeño beans to macaroni and cheese. Buttery rolls are served with every meal along with the complimentary ice cream and dill pickles. And just like always, kids eat free on Sunday.
Roland Dickey, Jr., Chief Executive Officer
Roland Dickey, Jr. is Chief Executive Officer of Dallas-based Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. He is the grandson of company founder Travis Dickey, Sr. Since becoming President and Chief Executive Officer of the third generation family run company in 2006, Dickey has expanded the restaurant’s reach from 20 to over 500 stores nationwide.
“A company is either growing or shrinking,” said Roland Dickey, Jr. in an interview with D CEO Magazine. “We’re blazing new trails. No one has ever done what we’re doing. We are bringing barbecue across the country.
As CEO, Dickey has elevated his family’s company to new heights by enthusiastically leading its evolution from a local barbecue joint to the fast-casual chain it is today. Through explosive growth in franchising, Dickey’s Barbecue now reaches guests across the country and is officially the nation’s largest barbecue chain. But with Dickey at the helm, the third generation family business still prides itself on authentic, down-home food, served with a signature brand of southern hospitality.
“Our goal has always been to be the first truly national barbecue chain,” said Dickey in an interview with Restaurant Business Magazine in 2014. “We studied every concept out there, what they’d done right and where they’d gone wrong and I saw a lot of chains becoming what they’re not.”
Dickey joined the family business in 1999 after working in leadership positions with a national Mexican food chain. In 2014, he was honored by Restaurant Business Magazine as part of the Power 20 in the restaurant industry. In addition, Dickey’s Barbecue was named “Fastest Growing Restaurant Chain” by Technomic in 2013 and “Top 5 Growth Brand” by Nation’s Restaurant News and “Best Franchise Deal” by QSR Magazine in 2012.
“We have really low startup costs, a great training package and a sales model that packs several revenue streams into a very small square footage,” said Dickey, who takes the lead on perfecting the Dickey’s Barbecue business model. “We know great barbecue, and we know how to make a great return off of serving a product that we’re very proud to offer our guests.”
Roland Dickey, Jr. was instrumental in kicking off Barbecue, Boots & Badges, Dickey’s new foundation committed to leaving a footprint on the communities they serve by providing funding and resources to law enforcement, firefighters and their families.
Dickey received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University. He and his wife live in Dallas.
Michelle Frazier, Chief Administrative Officer
Michelle Frazier joined the Dickey’s family in 2002 and has risen within the company ranks. Today, Frazier serves as Chief Administrative Officer to the fastest growing fast casual restaurant chain in the country. In her role, Frazier oversees all human resource development, accounting operations and the catering hotline. Frazier began her career with Dickey’s as an accounting bookkeeper and was promoted to Director of Accounting and Human Resources. Following her role as Director, Frazier rose to Vice President of Accounting and Human Resources before being promoted to Chief Administrative Officer. In previous roles, Frazier also oversaw the Dickey’s legal and IT department. Frazier’s years of dedication have been instrumental in identifying top industry talent to support in the company’s growth and in the development of programs across all departments of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.
Christie Finley, Chief Brand Officer
Christie Finley serves as Chief Brand Officer for the nation’s largest barbecue franchise, Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. She leads marketing initiatives for the expanding concept while aligning core brand values with aggressive business goals. In addition, she guides the overall brand direction, allowing it to continue energized expansion while maintaining Dickey’s Barbecue brand promise. Prior to joining Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., Finley led the strategic development and implementation of advertising and marketing campaigns across a diverse range of consumer and business to business brands, in both corporate and agency roles. Finley earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Texas Christian University and holds an M.B.A. from Southern Methodist University, Cox School of Business.
Laura Rea Dickey, Chief Information Officer
Laura Rea Dickey currently serves as Chief Information Officer for Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. Dickey graduated from TCU in 2001 and has worked in marketing and information technology for over 15 years. With an area of focus in business intelligence and aligning brand development with data insights, she has experience with a wide variety of clients at agencies such as Murray Brown Creative Group, The Richards Group and The Point Group. Her past clients have included Brach's candy, W hotels, Texas Health Resources, American Heart Association, Blue Mesa, La Madeline, Chick-Fil-A, Zom Realty, UCR and Fairfield Development. She specializes in the intersection of data, information technology and marketing, turning data insights into brand and business solutions.
Trinity Hall, Senior Vice President of Development
Trinity Hall serves as Senior Vice President of Development for Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. She leads the charge to design and build new Dickey’s Barbecue Pit locations across the country. She began her career at Dickey’s Barbecue three years ago as an equipment specialist negotiating contract and sourcing equipment for new locations. She created the equipment department from the ground up and implemented a fast-paced environment that has been integral to the growth of the company. Hall was also instrumental in the interior design update and design of Dickey’s signature location at Love Field in 2013. Most recently, Hall served as Director of Design, Equipment and Finance for Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants. In her tenure she has managed the opening of over 300 Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants across the country.
Joe Ippolito, Senior Vice President of Operations
Joe Ippolito serves as Senior Vice President of Operations for Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. In his role, Ippolito is responsible for leading quality operations and driving guest experience for Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants across the country. Ippolito leads field operations and drives profitability as the nation’s largest barbecue chain expands across the country. Ippolito brings over 20 years’ experience in restaurant operations and business development. His previous positions include Chief Operating Officer for Tim Drum Asiacafe, Franchisee and Area Developer for Firehouse Subs and multiple roles at Arby’s Restaurant Group including Vice President of Operations which earned him the recognition of Arby’s Vice President of the Year.
Steve Hawter, Senior Vice President of Training
Steve Hawter joined Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. with 25 years of experience in training and development for the restaurant industry. As Vice President of Training, he leads Barbecue University and oversees all development and execution of training systems for owner/operators. Hawter began his career as an owner/operator with Chick-Fil-A in Florida and Georgia. He has spent the last 10 years leading all training and training systems development for Cici’s Pizza. Hawter is an active member of the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers.
Paula Suarez, Head of Information Technology and Development
Paula Suarez is Head of Information Technology and Development for Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. Suarez leads the company-wide implementation of technology projects and oversees in-house software development efforts. Her focus is on streamlining business processes using advanced technology options. Prior to joining Dickey’s Barbecue in 2011, Suarez served as Division Business Systems Analyst for RealPage, a software development company for major property management companies. Suarez’s experience also includes over a decade working within the area of business systems analysis, software development and technical training. Past career achievements include the development and launching of the first military housing technical training program for Lincoln Military Housing. Suarez holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Southern Methodist University, as well as a technical degree in Computer Information Systems - Software Development.
“Top 100 List: Private Companies”
“Top Fastest Growing Companies”
“Top 25 Chain Innovators”
“2010 Readers' Choice for Best Barbecue”
“2012 Military Friendly Franchise Award”
“Top Five Growth Chains”
“Best Franchise Deal”
“Top Places to Work”