Brand Champions: Paul & Paula Bertino – Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Mankato, MN
Paul Bertino and his wife Paula have owned a Dickey’s Franchise for 2 and ½ years. Previously in product management and marketing for a regional communications company, Paul decided to open a Dickey’s, the only fast casual barbecue option in the 50,000-person community of Mankato, Minnesota.
“What we love most about the Dickey’s franchise model is the role catering plays into the overall business model. It’s a huge revenue tool for us, said Paul. “On average, approximately 15- 20% of our business is catering. In-store business drives catering opportunities and catering drives in-store visits, so it just works – we have built a great following this way.”
Paul and Paula also rely on tourism in addition to locals for business. The Minnesota Vikings hold their annual training camp in Mankato, which brings with it spectators who enjoy dining at Dickey’s during their visit. This year marks the 50th annual training camp in Mankato.
Paul knows that differentiation is key. He offers a baked potato buffet that appeals to everyone, including vegetarians who otherwise might not choose Dickey’s. “I love seeing satisfied guests and talking to someone who has just had a great meal,” said Paul. “We do a lot of tasting and educating because this community is underserved when it comes to the barbecue category and we have built up our repeat business this way,” he said.