Brand Champions: Ron and Charlotte Dykes
After serving 30 years in law enforcement and retiring from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Ron Dykes and his wife Charlotte, a former financial institution manager, were ready for their next adventure.
“One of the reasons we went the franchise route is because we wanted the backing of a brand -- Dickey’s has an existing model that works,” said Ron Dykes. “The brand offers someone to work with hand in hand, they even helped with the development and financing.”
With no restaurant experience, they tapped the skills of their daughter, Ashley who brought tons of operations experience from her years in the restaurant industry. Ashley’s husband Tim also joined the team with restaurant experience of his own. Running the business as a family has proven to be beneficial, labor is at 11% year-over-year and sales are up 19%.
“We were the first in this area of Florida and no one knew who we were,” said Charlotte Dykes. “Dickey’s marketing expertise really helped us get the word out – they know so much about radio and print advertising that really helped us get going.”
The Dykes opened in the middle of the recession, much of the planned construction around their restaurant including a hospital and housing development didn’t materialize as quickly as hoped. They knew catering would help the business, keeping labor low and running an efficient business.
“We are proud to be a family run and family focused business,” said Ron. “You should see our restaurant on Sundays – it’s packed with families just like ours.”
In April, the Dykes will celebrate their fifth anniversary with a special anniversary event where one lucky guest will go home with a new TV. After years serving in law enforcement, Ron is also looking forward to getting involved with Dickey’s new foundation, Barbecue, Boots & Badges in the Tampa area.