Sonny's BBQ

Part
01
of eight
Part
01

Sonny's BBQ Company Overview

Sonny's BBQ was founded in 1968 and has over 100 restaurants in the United States. Peter Frey is the Chief Brand Officer at Sonny's BBQ and Push is the agency on record for advertising. A deeper five of our findings have been presented below.

Overview

  • Sonny's BBQ was started by Floyd "Sonny" Tillman and his wife Lucille in 1968 in Gainesville, Florida. Tillman believed that his slow-smoked BBQ recipe was great and that people would love as much as he did -- he was right. He moved to Gainesville, Florida with $1,800 in his pocket and "a dream to own the best BBQ place in town".
  • By 1977, Sonny's BBQ had become hugely popular and opened its first franchise. In 1980, Bob Yarmuth, the present CEO of Sonny's BBQ, bought his first Sonny's BBQ restaurant. The number of Sonny's BBQ restaurants grew to 25 by 1981 and 50 by 1985.
  • Bob Yarmuth bought Sonny's BBQ from the Tillman's in 1991. Sonny's BBQ grew to 100 restaurants by 1998 and 143 (in seven southern states) by 2002. However, by 2015 the number of restaurants reduced to 122 and in 2018 there were only 101 of them.

Franchise Opening

  • The Steps to starting Sonny's BBQ franchise:
    • Step 1: Applicants need to submit the online franchise inquiry form that will contain "general contact information, base-level financial qualifications, desired locations and reason for choosing Sonny's BBQ".
    • Step 2: On receiving the inquiry, Sonny's BBQ calls the applicant for an introduction.
    • Step 3: If the applicant is found to be a good fit to be a franchise, Sonny's BBQ sends franchise application forms to the applicant, which then undergo formal review.
    • Step 4: Upon reviewing the application, Sonny's BBQ arranges for an in-person meeting with the senior management.
    • Step 5: After meeting with the leadership team and finalizing the contracts and financials, the applicant can initiate the process of opening the restaurant.
  • A one-time licensing fee of $35,000 is required to open Sonny's BBQ franchise. A royalty fee of 4.5% on the annual sales of a franchise is applicable, and 2% of the annual fee is payable towards system-wide marketing initiatives.
  • An initial investment of $648,500-$1,770,000 is required to open a Sonny's BBQ franchise.
  • As of 2018, there were 101 Sonny's BBQ locations in the United States (in eight southern states).
  • Sonny's BBQ is not authorized to open franchises in 15 states: CA, HI, IN, IL, MI, MN, ND, NV, NY, RI, SD, TX, UT, WA, WI.
  • For franchise-related inquiries, the company can be contacted on 407-660-8888 or franchise@SonnysBBQ.com or via the Request Information form.

C-Suite Executives

  • Bob Yarmuth is the CEO of Sonny's BBQ. He did his bachelors at the University of Michigan and obtained his Juris Doctor from the University of Louisville. He became Sonny's BBQ franchise in 1980 and purchased the company from Sonny Tillman in 1991; he has been the CEO of the company since the time he purchased the company.
  • Peter Frey has been the Chief Brand Officer (the equivalent of CMO) at Sonny's BBQ since May 2019. He did his bachelors in Mass Communication from the University of Florida, an MBA from Stetson University, a certification in Essentials of Marketing from Wharton, and a certification in Leadership Excellence from Rollins College. Prior to Sonny's BBQ, he worked as VP of Marketing, Vacations at Apple Leisure Group; VP of Operations, Discovery Cove at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment; Director of Marketing, Red Lobster, Darden; and Media Planning Supervisor at Saatchi & Saatchi.
  • Joe Tenczar is the Chief Information Officer at Sonny's BBQ and also leads finance, accounting, and purchase at the company. He studied Telecommunications and Computer Science at the University of Florida and did an MBA from Crummer Business School at Rollins College. He is focused on emerging technologies in hospitality and understanding the technology needs of the industry.
  • Christie Schatz is the VP of Operations and Culture at Sonny's BBQ. She obtained a "Master’s in Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies, with an emphasis on Human Performance" from Florida State University and has been with the company since 2001. She has lead the human resource and operations teams at Sonny's BBQ and has been instrumental in "organizational performance and franchise relations".

Agency on Record

  • Push is the advertising agency on record for Sonny's BBQ.
  • Multiple Sonny's BBQ creatives can be found here and on the Push website.
  • Multiple digital banner advertisements of Sonny's BBQ can be found here.
  • Sachs Media is the public relations agency on record for Sonny's BBQ.
  • The first-ever ASMR video released by Sonny's BBQ can be found here.


Part
02
of eight
Part
02

Dave Cain Biography

Dave Cain has completed a BS in Marketing from University of Central Florida. From July 2009 to October 2011, he served as marketing manager at Sonny's BBQ, a barbecue restaurant chain based in Florida, where the chain's first location was opened in 1968. In September 2013, he again joined Sonny's BBQ's and served as director of marketing.  

Personal Biography:

Educational Background:

Professional Biography:

Work Background :

  • Dave Cain is the Director of Marketing at Sonny's BBQ since September 2013.
  • From October 2011 til September 2013, he served as marketing manager at Romacorp Inc. which operates and franchises more than 150 restaurants in over 30 countries.
  • From July 2009 to October 2011, he served as marketing manager at Sonny's BBQ.
  • From March 2006 til October 2009, Cain was the account manager at Right Angle Marketing, a distributor of food and non-food products to major retailers in the United Kingdom.
  • From 2004 to 2006, he served as regional field supervisor at GMR Marketing that provides marketing and advertising services.

Role at Sonny’s BBQ:

  • Dave Cain is director of marketing at Sonny's BBQ and is responsible for the marketing operations of the company.

Length of Time at Sonny's BBQ:

  • From July 2009 til October 2011, Cain served as marketing manager at Sonny's BBQ's. In September 2013, he again joined Sonny's BBQ and served as director of marketing at Sonny's BBQ.


Research Strategy:

Although the research team was able to find information regarding Dave Cain's educational and work background and his role at Sonny’s BBQ, we were unable to find information regarding his personal and professional biography such as family background, interests and hobbies, publications and accomplishments. Links to his professional social profiles is also not available. This may be because Cain is not a socially active person. Moreover, he has not disclosed any information regarding his interest and hobbies nor has he publicly spoken about his achievements and success. Below is the various strategies we adopted to find the information.

We started off our search by finding the information regarding Dave Cain's biography in Sonny's BBQ website. We then searched to see if there is any marketing message posted by Dave Cain on the company's website or any audio and video communication by him. We also checked the Team section of the company to see if there is any information regarding his biography. This is the pertinent section that could give primary information about Dave Cain. Mention was made that Sonny's BBQ operates a chain of restaurants but there was no information available regarding professionals such as Dave Cain.

We then looked at his LinkedIn profile, press releases and articles in sources such as fsrmagazines, PR Newswire, and ABNews to see if there is any information available regarding Dave Cain's interview. The idea was to see if Cain made mention of any information regarding his personal interest and hobbies along with any accomplishment achieved in any of the interviews. The sources just mentioned information about Sonny’s BBQ strategy but not of David Cain.

We further checked databases such as Hoovers, adapt.io, and joesdata.com to check for any information specific to his biography. However, the database only mentioned email and phone number for Dave Cain but no relevant information.

As there was no information readily available, we opted to attempt a triangulation. I tried to look at the marketing association such as the American Marketing Association and Data & Marketing Association. We also looked at conferences and marketing event that might have covered Dave Cain in the guest profile list. The idea was to check if Cain is a member of any marketing association or conferences and if there are any publications or articles he has written regarding his marketing expertise. However, the sources just mentioned information on the marketing-specific articles but there were no articles available that were published and posted by Dave Cain that could have been used. Hence, this strategy didn't yield any result.

As an alternate data point, we looked at the social media profiles such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hope that we would find personal and professional social profiles for Dave Cain but there was no account available on social media. We then looked at the social profiles of Sonny's BBQ such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see if any information had been posted by or about Dave Cain. But here also, the company's social media profiles are focused on the company's marketing strategy with no mention of Dave Cain. Thus, this strategy also proved futile.

As a final strategy we decided to broaden the scope of our research beyond the standard two-year timeline. With this approach, we hoped to find less recent but useful information of any past interview or personal and professional information on Dave Cain. After a detailed search, we found a source dated 2015 regarding Sonny’s Summer Character Camp in orlandophil.org. However, there was no mention or any information on Dave Cain. Thus, this strategy also failed.
Part
03
of eight
Part
03

Sonny's BBQ Press Search

Sonny’s BBQ has closed, remodeled, and opened restaurants over the past 12 months. Over the past year, the company has engaged in charitable efforts such as the Spirit of BBQ: Giving Tuesday initiative, giving out free meals to first responders, and raising money and collecting supplies for Hurricane Dorian's victims in the Bahamas.

Restaurants' Operations

  • On January 4, 2019, Jacksonville Daily Record reported that the St. Johns County government had approved a permit submitted by Sonny’s BBQ to remodel the interior of its restaurant located in St. Augustine.
  • On February 5, 2019, Gainesville Times reported that a Sonny’s BBQ restaurant in Oakwood has closed after operating for 20 years.
  • On June 1, 2019, IwantaBuzz reported that Sonny’s BBQ had introduced a new Smoke and Fire menu (available until August 4, 2019), which included brisket & mac eggrolls, tots, sweet and spicy wings, hot link and pimento cheese burgers, and brisket grilled cheese.
  • On September 5, 2019, Eastern Progressive reported that Sonny’s BBQ reopened its restaurant in Richmond after completing its store remodeling, which included new lighting, seating, décor, central bar, and salad bar.
  • On October 22, 2019, Pensacola News Journal reported that Sonny's BBQ opened its first restaurant in Pace, making it the company’s fourth location in Pensacola.

Charitable Efforts and Other News

  • On November 20, 2018, ABC 27 reported that the fire that broke out at a Sonny's BBQ restaurant in Tallahassee did not cause any injuries but has resulted in $200,000 in damage.
  • On November 28, 2018, TC Palm reported that Sonny's BBQ had awarded Surfers for Autism $10,000 as part of its Spirit of BBQ: Giving Tuesday initiative.
  • On September 23, 2019, Orlando Sentinel reported that Sonny's BBQ would be giving out free meals, which included sliced pork sandwich, baked beans, and iced tea, to first responders.
  • On September 25, 2019, FOX 51 reported that Sonny's BBQ would be raising money and collecting supplies for victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.
  • On November 4, 2019, FSR magazine reported that Sonny Tillman, the founder of Sonny’s BBQ, was honored by the National Barbecue and Grilling Association for his overall achievement in the BBQ industry.
Part
04
of eight
Part
04

Sonny's BBQ Competitors, Pt 1

Seven of Sonny's competitors are Dickey's BBQ Pit, Woody's Bar-B-Que, Bono's Pit Bar-B-Q, Voodoo BBQ & Grill, Dreamland BBQ, Rib City, and Moe's Original Bar-B-Que. A deep dive into these findings has been provided below.


Brief Overview of Sonny's


#1: Dickey's BBQ Pit

  • A link to this competitor's website can be found here.

Competitor Insight:

  • Year founded: 1941.
  • Number of Restaurants: 500.
  • Primary Location: Headquartered in Dallas and operating in 44 states. They have 19 locations in Florida, and also have locations in the Carolinas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, and Louisiana.
  • Business Model: Franchise.
  • Primary Product: Slow-smoked BBQ.

Value Proposition:


#2: Woody's Bar-B-Que

  • A link to this competitor's website can be found here.

Competitor Insight:

  • Year founded: 1980.
  • Number of Restaurants: Undisclosed, however, there are at least 16 in Florida alone with three more scheduled to open.
  • Primary Location: The majority of their locations are in Florida. They also have locations in Georgia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and New York.
  • Business Model: Franchise.
  • Primary Product: Slow-smoked BBQ.

Value Proposition:

  • Bar-b-que is cooked for hours until it is 'fall off the bone tender.'
  • Kids eat free on certain nights, kid's birthday party packages available (Woody's Kid's Club).


#3: Bono's Pit Bar-B-Q

  • A link to this competitor's website can be found here.

Competitor Insight:

Value Proposition:

  • "Providing the most authentic traditional southern BBQ experience" possible.
  • Award-winning BBQ.
  • Harvey Green has been working as the meat cutter at the original Bono's since 1956. He is well-known among the regulars.

#4: VooDoo BBQ & Grill

  • A link to this competitor's website can be found here.

Competitor Insight:

Value Proposition:


#5: Dreamland BBQ

  • A link to this competitor's website can be found here.

Competitor Insight:

Value Proposition:

  • Customers can shop online and have Dreamland's meats, sauce, and merchandise shipped to them.
  • The restaurant's atmosphere is unique.

#6: Rib City

  • A link to this competitor's website can be found here.

Competitor Insight:

  • Year founded: 1989.
  • Number of Restaurants: 25.
  • Primary Location: The majority of their restaurants are located in Southwest Florida. They also have locations in Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and the state of Washington.
  • Business Model: Franchise.
  • Primary Product: Baby back ribs, slow-smoked over a wood fire.

Value Proposition:

  • They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, otherwise, the customer does not have to pay.


#7: Moe's Original Bar-B-Que

  • A link to this competitor's website can be found here.

Competitor Insight:

  • Year founded: 2001.
  • Number of Restaurants: 63.
  • Primary Location: The majority of their locations are in Alabama. They also have locations in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, the Carolinas, Virginia, Maine, Wyoming, Florida, Colorado, California, Tennessee, Ohio, and even in Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Business Model: Franchise.
  • Primary Product: Barrel pit-smoked BBQ.

Value Proposition:


Research Strategy

To conduct this research, we first began by analyzing the previous research conducted on Sonny's BBQ to understand what type of restaurant it is. We analyzed how long it has been in business, how many locations it has, what it's business model is, what their primary product is, and where it's located. In alignment with this, we then began hunting for true competitors of Sonny's, using the overview of Sonny's as a template. In doing so, we considered the following parameters when selecting competitors:

  • Competitors had to be operating in the Southeast United States, across multiple states, and ideally in Florida and/or it's nearest neighbors, Alabama and Georgia, as this is where the majority of Sonny's establishments are located.
  • Competitors had to have been founded a significant number of years ago. As Sonny's was founded in 1968, we prioritized competitors who were also founded multiple decades ago, but at least over 10 years ago.
  • As Sonny's has 100 locations making it a smaller sized chain, therefore, competitors also had to have multiple locations and could be logically considered a small-chain, as opposed to those that have over 1,000 locations. However, it should be noted that aside from Dickey's (which has 500 locations) the majority of competitors we found that matched all criteria had less than 100 locations.
  • Competitors had to be in the business of selling slow-cooked, smoked BBQ as their primary offering, as this is Sonny's primary offering.
  • Lastly, competitors had to operate a franchise business model, as this the same as Sonny's business model.
Part
05
of eight
Part
05

Sonny's BBQ Competitors, Pt 2

Sonny's BBQ is largely concentrated in Florida (72 of its 94 total locations) and the company generated $223 million in revenue in 2017. Dickey's Barbecue Pit has 497 total locations (two of which are outside the U.S.) and the company generated $557.6 million in revenue in 2016.

Sonny's BBQ

1. Competitive Advantage

  • The competitive advantage of Sonny's BBQ is that it's a time-honored company, as it has been in business for nearly five decades (since 1968).

2. Strengths & Weaknesses

  • Good, delicious food is a clear strength of Sonny's BBQ, as the vast majority of customers said wonderful things about the food. As an example, a customer said: "We are BBQ lovers, and they [Sonny's] consistently make us happy." Another customer said: "It was a great place to eat, the food tasted so good, and the prices were very reasonable."
  • Customer service is another clear strength for Sonny's BBQ, as many customers described the staff as friendly, helpful, and attentive. For example, a customer said: "Service was quick and friendly. Can’t wait for my return trip!"
  • A lack of cleanliness was mentioned by some customers. For example, a customer said that the bathroom "is disgusting! . . . invest in the business and redo the restrooms!" A different customer described the Corbin location as "dirty, dingy, and disgusting."

3. Revenue

  • Sonny's reported $223 million in revenue for 2017.
  • The aforementioned 2017 revenue marked a 5.4% decrease year-over-year. However, that is likely linked to the fact that the company had 4.3% fewer locations in 2017 compared to 2016.

4. Geographical Footprint

  • Sonny's has 94 locations, all of which are in the U.S.
  • In Florida, Sonny's has 72 locations.
  • Sonny's has 11 locations in Georgia. Those locations are in the following cities/towns: Brunswick, Buford, Commerce, Jonesboro, Kingsland, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Perry, Thomasville, Valdosta, and Warner Robins.
  • There are three Sonny's locations in North Carolina (Charlotte, Concord, and Mooresville).
  • Sonny's has four locations in Kentucky (Corbin, Nicholasville, Richmond, and Somerset).
  • Sonny's has a location in the following cities/towns: Mobile (Alabama), Rock Hill (South Carolina), Brandon (Mississippi), and Baton Rouge (Louisiana).

Dickey's Barbecue Pit

1. Competitive Advantage

  • The main competitive advantage for Dickey's Barbecue Pit appears to be the fact that it's "the world’s largest and fastest growing barbecue franchise."
  • The restaurant chain has 497 total locations.
  • Another competitive advantage for Dickey's is its long-standing history as a company, which dates back to 1941.

2. Strengths & Weaknesses

  • Customer service is a strength for Dickey's, as many customers said they received good, friendly service. For example, a customer said that Dickey's "[s]ervice is very good."
  • Good food is a strength for Dickey's. Customer after customer talked about how much they liked the food. As an example, a customer said: "Always had tasty bbq from Dickey's."
  • Though simple, the free ice cream that Dickey's offers is pretty popular among its customers, as many of them said they really liked that freebie.
  • Many customers also expressed positive feedback about Dickey's side dishes.

3. Revenue

4. Geographical Footprint

  • Dickey's has a presence in 43 states across the U.S.
  • Texas is the state with the most Dickey's locations (139).
  • California has the second-most Dickey's locations (80).
  • Arizona has the third-most Dickey's locations (23).
  • Dickey's also has an international presence, with two locations in the United Arab Emirates.

Research Strategy

We began our research by reviewing each company's website, in order to find information about their competitive advantages. We found that information on their "About" pages and/or landing pages, in which they emphasize what differentiates them from other companies. To identify the companies' strengths and weaknesses, we read many customer reviews about each company. Since the reviews are location specific, we looked at reviews from three restaurants for each company and each of those restaurants were in a different state. For Sonny's BBQ, the three locations we reviewed customer feedback for were Florida City (Florida), Perry (Georgia), and Corbin (Kentucky). For Dickey's, the three locations we reviewed customer feedback for were Buena Park (California), Plano (Texas), and Commerce Township (Michigan). We did that to learn what the company’s strengths and weaknesses are across its locations, instead of just what people said about a single location. Based on our reviews of all that customer feedback, we included the main strengths and weaknesses that were repeatedly mentioned by multiple customers. The revenue data we provided came from Restaurant Business Online. Lastly, we found information about the companies' geographical footprints through their websites.
Part
06
of eight
Part
06

Sonny's BBQ Competitors, Pt 3

Woody's Bar-B-Q and Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q generate annual revenues worth about $12.8 million and $2.7 million.

WOODY'S BAR-B-QUE

Competitive Advantage

  • Woody's Bar-B-Q is acclaimed for its "legendary melt-in-your-mouth slow-smoked Signature Baby Back Ribs."
  • The barbecue restaurant has a big following "among patrons with their secret recipe Bar-B-Q sauces and meats, as well as their freshly prepared comfort food-inspired side dishes."
  • Woody's Bar-B-Q products' nutritional values are derived from "supplier nutrition information, the USDA database, and an independent lab."

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • With the threat of new entrants; for example, America has "nearly 2,000 BBQ restaurants," an old-timer like Woody's Bar-B-Q (40 years experience), needs to innovate their customer experience strategy when ordering. Currently, the website lacks a live customer support chat for online orders.

Annual Revenue

States

  • Woody's is available in Florida, including Cocoa, Fernandina, Green Cove Springs, and Holly Hill, as well as Pennslyvania (Huntingdon).

BONO'S PIT BAR-B-Q

Competitive Advantage

  • Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q runs a fundraising program that invites organizations, groups, and families that wish to hold fundraising to do so at their local Bono's restaurants, "and Bono’s will donate 15% of their bills" back.
  • Bono offers an award-winning traditional Southern BBQ that's publicly praised by customers.
  • Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q made it to The Daily Meal list of America’s 25 Best Barbecue Chains for 2018, at #16.

Strengths

  • Founded in 1949, Bono's Pit Bar-B-Q has been in the market for around 70 years, and this allows them to create authenticity and remarkable experiences for customers.

Weaknesses

  • The company's website permits online ordering; however, they do not have live customer support on the site for those who wish to make online orders.

Annual Revenue

Cities

Part
07
of eight
Part
07

Sonny's BBQ Competitors, Pt 4

Dreamland BBQ is one of the most famous restaurants in Alabama, owing its fame to its trademark ribs, sauce and white bread. VooDoo BBQ & Grill's competitive advantage lies in enhancing typical BBQ recipes with traditional New Orleans and Louisiana's flavors.

VooDoo BBQ & Grill

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
  • VooDoo BBQ & Grill differentiate themselves by combining the typical BBQ recipes with New Orleans' traditions. They use Caribbean, Cajun and Creole spices, and slow-cook their dishes with oak and pecan.
  • As per the article in SFGate, VooDoo BBQ & Grill is the precursor that inspired several other restaurants to offer Louisiana and New Orleans-specific flavors. Together with the fact that they managed to bring their concept to other states, it proves that their idea was successful.

STRENGTHS
  • According to Hoodline, VooDoo BBQ & Grill in New Orleans is among the trending restaurants in the city in the Cajun/Creole category, which can be seen in the increase in reviews.
  • The sauces, side dishes and beer are all typical to Louisiana, which adds to the place's uniqueness.
  • The company also prides itself in the laid-back atmosphere of their locations, as well as in the design of their interiors, which is supposed to make their guests feel as if they are "on mini-New Orleans vacation."

WEAKNESSES
  • The number of VooDoo BBQ and Grill's locations has been decreasing. In 2014, they had 17 restaurants, in 2018 - 12, and at the moment, their website only lists eight.

ANNUAL REVENUE
  • According to Hoovers, VooDoo BBQ and Grill's estimated annual revenue is $2.2 million.

FOOTPRINT
  • VooDoo BBQ and Grill has four locations in Louisiana, of which two are in Baton Rouge, one in San Rose and one in New Orleans.
  • The chain also has two restaurants in Florida, which are located in Pensacola and Crestview.
  • Additionally, there are two VooDoo BBQ locations in Indiana, specifically, in Anderson and New Haven.

Dreamland BBQ

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
  • Dreamland BBQ is recognized for its legendary ribs, thanks to which the first restaurant's founder, John "Big Daddy" Bishop, was recently inducted to the Barbecue Hall of Fame.
  • Dreamland ribs and white bread were also named one of the top dishes to try in Alabama by the Alabama Tourism Department.
  • The chain has a well-established and recognizable brand, with a 60-year history. The 60th birthday of the first Dreamland BBQ location was widely celebrated in the local community, with contributions from the company's most notable partner — Coca-Cola.

STRENGTHS
  • With its strong reputation in the restaurant industry, the brand also receives good publicity in top national publications, such as Southern Living, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, and Rolling Stone.
  • According to Insider, Dreamland BBQ is the most recognizable restaurant in Alabama, which also makes it celebrities' favorite spot. Some of those who are known to eat there include Pete and Tele, Bo Jackson, Reba McEntire, and Gary Busey.
  • In a study by AMA, Dreamland BBQ is mentioned among the top players in the global barbecue sauce market.
  • The company aims to maintain high standards across all of its locations, both when it comes to the restaurants they own and the franchises, which have to adhere to strict rules.

WEAKNESSES
  • While Dreamland BBQ hold all of their locals to the same standards, the other locations aren't nearly as popular as the original restaurant in Tuscaloosa.
  • Even though the majority of reviews are positive, most of the two- and one-star reviews on TripAdvisor claim that Dreamland BBQ is over hyped, explaining that the legendary ribs and sauce weren't well-prepared and that the menu is too limited.

ANNUAL REVENUE
  • Dreamland BBQ's estimated annual revenue is $51.1 million.
  • It is noteworthy that according to ZoomInfo's estimates, there was a sharp drop in quarterly revenue between the first and second quarter of 2019 when it went from $37.2 million to $4.8 million.

FOOTPRINT
  • Dreamland BBQ has the most significant footprint in Alabama, with restaurants in Northport, Montgomery, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Mobile, and Birmingham.
  • Outside Alabama, they have a presence in Georgia, with locations in Roswell and Duluth, and Florida, with one restaurant in Tallahassee.

Research strategy

Both Dreamland BBQ and VooDoo BBQ and Grill are private companies. While we searched their websites for any information on revenue, paying special attention to presentations for potential franchisees, which are the most likely to include such information, financial results weren't available. VooDoo BBQ & Grill mentioned in their FAQ that they only disclose them after submitting the form for franchisees on their website.

We also looked through tourism, business and restaurant publications, as well as local news, government, and educational sites. We hoped to find financial information in articles related to one of the companies' success or business model. However, there are very few articles about VooDoo BBQ & Grill. The only revenue-related information we found was for one Dreamland BBQ's location and vastly outdated.

For this reason, for VooDoo BBQ & Grill, we decided to include estimates from Hoovers. As the available revenue estimates were broken down by location, we decided to sum them up with the following calculation:

$2.2 million (New Orleans) + $0.9 million (New Haven) + $0.73 million (Baton Rouge I) + $0.17 million (Baton Rouge II) + $0.64 million (Saint Rose) + $0.27 million (Pensacola) + $0.09 million (Crestview) + $0.09 million (Anderson) = 5.09mln

Please note that we excluded locations that are no longer active.

As for Dreamland BBQ, Hoovers only gave estimates for four locations, which is why we decided to provide approximate figures from ZoomInfo. We summed up the results and prognoses for the four quarters of 2019:


It also proved difficult to find weaknesses for both of the competitors. Dreamland BBQ is well covered in the media, especially on local media sites. However, being among the most famous restaurant chains in Alabama, it mostly receives positive press. The articles are about awards it received or classic positions on its menu. Therefore, to find additional weaknesses, we decided to look at review sites. We found the highest number of negative reviews on TripAdvisor. We analyzed 74 negative reviews of their most reviewed location and included the most commonly repeated complaints.

VooDoo BBQ and Grill is not as well-covered in the media. Their weak points aren't covered in local media sites like Nola, lifestyle websites like Insider, or restaurant industry sites like Restaurant Dive or NRN. We also tried to analyze reviews. However, since the chain is less popular and the vast majority of reviews are positive, the number of negative ones wasn't representative enough to draw any conclusions. For example, on TripAdvisor, out of 599 reviews of their most popular location, only 0.7% (or 42) was negative. For this reason, we only presented one weakness.
Part
08
of eight
Part
08

Sonny's BBQ Competitors, Pt 5

Rib City serves its customers in its 25 restaurants while Moe's Original Bar-B-Que has 63 restaurants across the United States. A competitive landscape for Rib City and Moe's Original Bar-B-Que including their competitive advantage, strengths and weaknesses, annual revenue, and locations, has been provided below.

Rib City

Competitive Advantage

  • The meat is slowly cooked just over the right wood fire by the wood-burning smokers to achieve perfection.
  • To seal that distinctive Rib City barbecue taste, meat cuts of choice are basted with barbecue sauce which are then smoked over carefully select hardwoods.
  • Aside from its primary location, which is Southwest Florida, the company has other locations in Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Washington, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Strengths

  • By offering good quality food, efficient and friendly service, and clean surroundings, Rib City guarantees an exceptional dining experience for customers every time they dine with them.
  • Rib City guarantees customer satisfaction by opening during convenient times for customers. Monday-Thursday: 11:00 am — 9:00pm,Friday -Saturday: 11:00 am — 10:00 pm Sunday: 11:30 am — 9:00 pm.
  • Aside from ribs being the company`s specialty, it also offers many styles of barbecue and delicious side dishes, which have been influenced by traditional home-style recipes.

Weaknesses

  • Rib City has only 25 restaurants as compared to its major competitors including Sonny`s Barbecue and Dickeys which have over 100 and 500 restaurants in the US respectively.
  • There is a minimal effort towards the options vegetarians have. Meat is the most dominant meal on the menu.
  • The available options in the drinks category are limited to only lemonade, soft drinks, bottled water, and iced tea gallon jugs. This may be a let down to adults who drink other alcoholic beverages apart from beer.

Revenue

Location

  • Rib City has its headquarters in Southwest Florida. They have a total of 25 restaurants and are in various locations in Tennessee, Virginia, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, the state of Washington, and Colorado.

Moe's Original Bar-B-Que

Competitive Advantage

  • Aside from barbecue, Moe’s Original BBQ offer Southern style side dishes and desserts which are prepared daily from recipes passed down from previous generations
  • Moe’s Original BBQ is a "southern soul food". Food is served in an atmosphere that is spontaneous, relaxed and civilized.
  • The company has a sizable geographical presence. The majority of the company`s locations are in Alabama. They also have locations in Carolina, Virginia, Florida, California, Colorado, Wyoming, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, and Ohio.

Strengths

  • They use a distinctive style of cooking using "fruit wood to smoke the meats fresh daily and hitting it with two sauces."
  • "Moe's Que Club," is a rewards club run by the company. Through which the company can share marketing information(mail).

Weakness

  • The company restaurants are concentrated in some regions. The restaurants are not evenly distributed to realize a significant geographical presence
  • Moe's Original Bar-B-Que only has 63 restaurants. Major competitors like dickeys (500 restaurants) and sonny s BBQ (100 restaurants)
  • The menu on the website does not have the prices, and so it's difficult to compare various dishes available and with those of competitors.

Revenue

Moe's Original Bar-B-Que has an estimated annual revenue of $3.5 million

Location

  • The company has a total of 63 restaurants. The majority of the company`s locations are based in Alabama. They also have locations in the Carolina, Virginia, Florida, California, Colorado, Wyoming, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio.

Research Strategy

The research for Moe's Original Bar-B-Que and Rib city was fairly straightforward except for the annual revenues. We began our search on each company`s website, as companies often provide their annual revenues on their portal. Unfortunately, neither company gave the record of their respective annual revenues. We then turned to other credible media sources such as Forbes, The Nashville Post, The Tennessean, QSR Magazines and Biz journals. The idea here was to find out if there are any financial records of the two companies. This strategy bore no fruit. Finally, we resorted to look up company databases such as Crunchbase, Zoominfo.com and Owler. Through owler which allows members to track companies, we were able to find the estimated revenues for these companies but they were only estimates, we could not proof the authenticity of the information provided.

Moe's Original Bar-B-Que and Rib city are not mandated to make their financial records publicly available because they are privately owned.




Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 04
From Part 05
From Part 07