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As she leads growth for the country’s largest barbecue chain, Trinity Hall has a much meatier goal in mind: “global domination for barbecue.”
The senior vice president of Development for Dickey’s Barbecue Pit started with the restaurant company seven years ago, building its equipment team. Today, she’s handles franchise sales, construction teams, real estate, design and permitting for Dickey’s.
She’s also behind the Dallas-born company’s exponential growth. Founded in 1941, today Dickey’s has 550 locations in 44 states.
In the pipeline is the first step toward her global goal: Dickey’s first international deal, announced in November, to bring roughly 45 restaurants to seven countries across the Middle East. The first is expected to open this year in the United Arab Emirates.
Hall told us more about her role and plans for Dickey’s.
What attracted you to Dickey’s?
Most people say the growth. I didn’t know it was to grow as much and as quickly at the time. I was looking for something I could create and mold myself with, something I could have an impact on instead of being somewhere you could wait for a couple of years to see an impact.
How have you been guiding Dickey’s growth?
I’m pushing the business forward through franchise sales national and internationally. We signed our first international deal and we were able to do it right and not rush it. That’s where I’m steering the brand.
I recently had to travel to Las Vegas for store visits, and every place I went to, everyone knew we were there. That’s another element, where I’m guiding the public to our stores.
What growth will Dickey’s see this year?
When we sold the international deal in October, that brought 50 stores in 7 countries. We’ll get those going and open. We have some Hawaii stores opening this year as well. We want global domination for barbecue.
Why are you pushing more franchise sales?
We keep our five core corporate stores, but franchise sales are our niche. We’re good at having franchisees come in and take hold. It’s a hallmark of the company, finding people who want to become entrepreneurs.
How do you decide where to grow internationally?
It’s finding that right partner. There’s a trust factor on both parties. We don’t have offices over there yet, so that’s important.
We put out a couple of press releases, and phones started ringing. With international, we require people with food experience because it’s a different beast. Our partner has done just as much research on us as we have on them, and they want to help us grow outside the countries they’ve purchased.
How will you continue to spur growth in the U.S.?
It’s really internal growth with our existing franchisees. We keep them going and growing. We’re also looking for people we didn’t know there was a market for. We didn’t know there was an opportunity for C-stores or locations inside airports or malls.
What is the biggest challenge of your job?
I get to mold people and help those who don’t want to be out on their own. The hardest part is we grew fast and we’re good at it, but we have to sustain that growth and make sure people get the support they need every day, whether it’s internal or external.