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Barbecue Buzz

Brand Champion: Dave & Debra Haakinson

11 Mar 2015

Dave & Debra Haakinson are the perfect business partners. Combined, the couple has over 60 years of restaurant experience. Debra has a knack for marketing and engaging with guests, while Dave is focused on operations and financials. Prior to opening their store in Irving, Dave was an Area Director for Dickey’s Barbecue for two years.

“The store in Irving became available and a light came on in my head -- I wanted to own my own store,” said Dave. “After working for corporate, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down and we’re happy we didn’t because it’s far exceeded our expectations.”

Dave had always wanted to own his own restaurant and knew from his time directing Dickey’s Barbecue Pit locations throughout his territory in West Texas and the Midwest what a successful store could look like when Dickey’s systems were utilized.

“I knew from my time being an Area Director that I was buying a system not a restaurant. My wife and I were convinced the system worked,” said Haakinson. “It’s really not a hard concept. When the system is implemented correctly a store is successful.”

Catering is huge for the Haakinson’s location due to Irving being a hub for businesses, particularly call centers. Their involvement with the Irving Chapter of the National American Business Clubs (AMBUCS) also connects them with business leaders in the area while allowing them to give back to their community.