Brand Champion: Erik Forrest
Erik Forrest has always had a passion for food. Prior to opening his first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Erik worked as a chef at the Fairmont Hotel in Scottsdale as well as hotels throughout Florida. After visiting the Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Scottsdale, Erik was impressed by the food and atmosphere. He began his research before deciding to open his first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Scottsdale in the summer of 2012.
“The biggest thing was the support a franchise offers, I had been responsible for the food and scheduling but not an entire restaurant,” said Erik. “I wanted the backing of a brand that also provided everything I needed to be successful.”
In 2013, Erik opened his second location near the Arizona State University campus in Tempe. Students frequent the location which has been great for the brand. Today, Erik gets the help from his wife, Emily in running the stores and which will eventually include a third location planned for later this year. To get involved with the local community, Erik and Emily support the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police including their annual Shop with Cops program.
“We follow the community marketing we were taught through Barbecue University which works,” said Erik. “Our Tempe location has been great because we are building brand awareness amongst young people at the Arizona State University who have grown to love the Dickey’s brand.”