Q&A with Dickey’s CEO Roland Dickey, Jr.
Why do you think barbecue is so popular across the country?
Everyone loves barbecue. There’s just something about sharing a plate of ribs and a cold one that brings people together. Barbecue is comfort food that connects with guests’ back to basics mindset.
People may be busier these days but they still want wholesome, quality foods that they feel good about serving to their families.
So, are you still planning on global barbecue domination?
You know it! Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is taking barbecue mainstream and doing something that no other brand has done before – taking barbecue to a national audience and eventually international. We’re taking the southern tradition of barbecue across the country and guests love it. And, we’re winning over hearts, minds and taste buds from California to Virginia and most places in between. We opened over 100 new Dickey’s Barbecue Pit locations in 2014 and plan on doing the same in 2015 – bring us much closer to barbecue global domination.
How do you keep a 74 year old brand original?
We may be a 74-year-old brand, but we definitely don’t act like it. Preserving the authenticity and history of our brand is very important to us. But, we put that same emphasis on innovation. We’re always looking for better ways to serve our guests. We have many new ideas to add to our already rich history such as our new restaurant designs coming soon, online and text ordering options, catering hotline, sustainable packaging and healthy menu items.
Why do you think it’s so important that Dickey’s is still family-owned?
My grandfather started Dickey's Barbecue Pit in 1941. He was a true Texas character blessed with the gift of gab and the love of real slow-smoked barbecue. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has always been a true family operation with my grandfather working the block and Miss Ollie Dickey serving sandwiches.
But, my dad and uncle really put us on the map. My dad started our catering business by pounding the pavement. He loved meeting new people and introducing them to great barbecue. That same entrepreneurial spirit is still at work in all of our restaurants today. I’m so proud to be the third generation fortunate to be part of such a great concept and a true American success story. My family built Dickey's Barbecue Pit the old fashion way, by winning one guest at a time and I’m so proud of that legacy. I hope guests can feel that passion!