Willie Jewell's

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Company Overview - Willie Jewell's

Willie Jewell's was founded in 2008 by Joe Adeeb and Josh Martino. The company offers slow-cooked meat preparations to consumers across the Southeastern states of the US. Some important factors that are contributing to the growth of Willie Jewell's include its low franchisee and operational costs, regular participation across local events, and faster order processing.

History of Willie Jewell's

Company's Growth Factors

  • The restaurant features less capital investment, simpler operations, fewer employees, and a higher profit margin. Alternatively, the company is focused on attracting different franchisee groups along with new customer demographics.
  • Willie Jewell's offers catering services across multiple locations it serves. In 2019, the company provided catering operations across Georgia, Florida, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
  • In 2018, the company had 11 stores and featured an average seating capacity of 80. Further, the guests are greeted by names when entering the restaurant.
  • Many recipes and sauces developed by Willie Jewell are used today by both Bono's and Willie Jewell’s. Additionally, all foods are cooked on-site for Willie Jewell's restaurants.
  • The company usually targets a densely populated area, featuring a strong workforce population and lower commercial rents.
  • Additionally, the company plans to expand its footprint by entering larger markets like Tampa and Atlanta after achieving success in mid-sized and small markets.
  • The company guides franchisee units by offering site selection, training, marketing, purchasing, and designing services.
  • It is noted that though Bono's and Willie Jewell's offer similar menu items but the company named the restaurant differently to attract a larger audience.
  • The company also eliminated the server position and decreased its building footprint to enhance growth.
  • Willie Jewell's also gave its restaurants an open kitchen with a wood smoker to preserve the experience of an open pit.
  • The company regularly participates in local events like the CABA event, Songwriters fest, Waitr launch party, among others.


  • Willie Jewell's currently features 16 stores across Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and New Hampshire.
  • As of 2018, Willies Jewell's featured 11 restaurants primarily in the Southeast US, with another four planned to open by year's end.
  • In March 2019, the company opened its third Tampa store in Florida. Additionally, the company planned double the size of multi-unit restaurants across Atlanta, Tallahassee, and Tampa in 2017.


Financial and Relevant Information

  • According to Technomic's estimate, Willie Jewell's is estimated to grab an annual revenue of $29 million in 2019, registering a yearly growth of 39.4%.
  • There are 17 Willie Jewell's restaurants across the US, generating an average sales revenue of $2 million annually. The yearly increase in the number of stores is about 41.7%.
  • The restaurant chain was featured in the Inc's 5000 list with an annual revenue of $9.1 million and a growth of 660% in 2017.
  • In 2017, the company had about 240 employees. The revenue split between franchisee and company-owned operations was about 65:35.
  • The signature menu items on the list include smoked briskets, smoked BBQ wings, and smokehouse stackers.
  • The average revenue generated per check by the restaurant stood at $11-$12 in 2018.
  • Equipment package cost per restaurant was $110,000-$125,000 in 2018.
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Biography - Jeff Brown, Chief Revenue Officer of Willie Jewell's

There was no mention of the educational background of Jeff Brown in any public forum, but three colleges were triangulated as the likely places he attended based on his interests in his LinkedIn profile. Brown has over 20 years of career experience in the media, and he is married to Kathryn. Other information about him is provided in the findings below.

Personal Information

Professional Information

  • Brown served as the Executive Vice President, Strategic Partnerships at Force Marketing between Nov 2018–Apr 2019. He was at Cumulus Media between Oct 2013-Mar 2017, occupying the position of Vice President & Market Manager before becoming the Senior Vice President.
  • He worked at Entercom from Oct 1997-Oct 2013, rising from the position of National Sales Manager to become the Vice President & Market Manager from Jul 2011–Oct 2013.
  • Brown is presently the President of Casey Brown Enterprises, LLC (CBE), which "owns and operates Willie Jewell's Old School Bar-B-Q restaurants in Greater Atlanta and Peachtree City, GA." His current responsibilities at Willie Jewell, therefore, are the day-to-day management of the Old School Bar-B-Q restaurants, ensuring satisfactory customer experience, a conducive workplace for employees, and engaging the local communities positively.
  • Brown is presently on the boards of Casey Brown Enterprises, LLC, and the leadership board of Force Marketing. He is also on "the Board of Team Type 1, an Atlanta-based non-profit organization."
  • On February 14, 2019, Brown was named as an addition to the executive leadership team of Force Marketing.
  • On August 19, 2019, Brown was interviewed on CBT News, where he talked on "the new revolution in video strategy at Digital Dealer 27."
  • On November 5, 2019, Brown again appeared on CBT News for a discussion on "video retargeting and digital ad spend."

Research Strategy

We started our findings by going through every available social platform (LinkedIn, Twitter, and others), companies' websites (Willie Jewells, Force Marketing, and others), news platforms (CBT News, Bloomberg, and others), blogs (Telco, DDCE, and others), and biographies (The Official Board) that Jeff Brown is associated with in one way or the other.

However, we were unable to definitively determine his educational background. Our first attempt at this was looking through his LinkedIn profile and Facebook profiles, but this information was unavailable on the former, and the latter was non-existent. We directed our second attempt at the websites of companies he associates with presently, that is, Willie Jewels, CBE LLC, and Force Marketing. While only the latter has an 'About Us' page, CBE LLC has no website. Unfortunately, even the 'About Us' page of Force Marketing redirects us to his LinkedIn profile, the only social media platform associated with Brown. As a last attempt, we extended our search across relevant blogs and company biography platforms such as Telco, DDCE, The Official Board, and others. While we found another Jeff Brown on Telco, DDCE and The Official Board didn't refer to his educational background.

We conclude that despite being a media person of many years, Brown has gone a mile further to make his private life stay private. This privacy extends to his family life as he has no Facebook or Instagram accounts like some of his colleagues. It was his company that posted the singular information we got about his family following the announcement of his recruitment. However, based on his interests for the University of Georgia (Terry College of Business), Harvard Business School, and Dale Carnegie Training on his LinkedIn page, we triangulated these colleges as the institutions he likely attended.
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Media Scan - Willie Jewell's

We were able to find four articles published within the past year about Willie Jewell's. Due to the lack of additional articles published within that timeframe (explained in the Research Strategy section below), we were able to find seven additional articles by expanding the scope of our research to the past 22 months. In addition to those 11 articles, we also found a November 2019 award announcement posted via Twitter about Willie Jewell's, plus two 2019 YouTube videos involving the company from a news outlet and restaurant-industry organization.

Recent News Articles About Willie Jewell's

1. Articles Published Within the Past Year

  • This article, published in June 2019, announced the grand opening of a Willie Jewell's restaurant location in Riverview, Florida, on July 17, 2019.
  • This article, published in February 2019, announced that Willie Jewell's restaurant located in Aiken, South Carolina, would close on February 24, 2019.
  • This article, published in January 2019, announced that Willie Jewell's was opening a new location in Largo, Florida, in March 2019.
  • This article, published in November 2018, (1) announced that the food-delivery platform Waitr was launching in the Aiken (South Carolina) market, (2) stated that Waitr's Aiken launch party would be held at the Willie Jewell's restaurant in Aiken, and (3) that the Aiken Willie Jewell's partnered with Waitr to deliver its food in the area. However, the Aiken Willie Jewell's location closed a few months after that article was published, as was the topic of the second article included above.

2. Articles Published Within the Past Year to 22 Months

  • This article, published in September 2018, announced Willie Jewell's expansion into the Brunswick (Georgia) market, as a restaurant would be opening there on October 17, 2018.
  • This article, published in August 2018, announced that a Willie Jewell's restaurant would be opening in Lexington, South Carolina, on August 22, 2018.
  • This article, published in June 2018, provides a detailed overview about the company overall, including its history, menu, kitchen process, atmosphere, and business model.
  • This article, published in May 2018, mentioned the first Willie Jewell's restaurant opening in Tampa (Florida), menu items, and planned location opening in Seminole Towne Center in Florida (though some of the content overlaps with content in the next article listed, some of it is different, which is why we included it as a unique article).
  • This article, published in May 2018, discusses the May 23, 2019, grand opening of Willie Jewell's restaurant in Seminole Towne Center (Florida) and also discusses the company's origins.
  • This article, published in March 2018, discusses Wille Jewell's plans to expand into the Tampa (Florida) region and includes commentary about that plan from the company's CEO, Josh Martino.
  • This article, published in March 2018, announced the first opening of a Willie Jewell's restaurant in the Tampa Bay (Florida) area on March 14, 2018.

3. Additional Media Mentions Outside of Articles

  • This Twitter post, shared on November 8, 2019, announced "that Willie Jewell’s was voted Best BBQ in Tallahassee by the readers of Tallahassee Magazine."
  • This YouTube video, published in October 2019, features a Willie Jewell's chef representing the restaurant for a segment as part of News 19 WLTX's Restaurant Week.
  • This YouTube video, published in January 2019, was created to publicize that Wille Jewell's Tallahassee (Florida) location was Member of the Month for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association in January 2019. The video features commentary from the owners of that Willie Jewell's restaurant.

Research Strategy

As was mentioned in the introduction, we looked thoroughly for at least ten articles about Willie Jewell's within the past year. However, we only found four published within that timeframe. We looked for ten articles within the past year by using three research methods. First, we conducted broad press searches for articles pertaining to the company. Though our searches were broad, we specifically looked for articles published within the past year, as was requested. Examples of sources that published the articles we reviewed ranged from local newspapers such as The Aiken Standard to restaurant industry sources such as Restaurant News. All those searches we ran yielded only four articles, all of which are included above.

While conducting our broad press searches for articles, we also found two YouTube videos about the company, both of which were published earlier this year. Since Willie Jewell's was featured in those videos, we included them because the content was similar to news/announcements pertaining to the restaurant. Though we included the videos above, we didn't count them towards the 10+ articles that we were looking for about the company.

For our second research method, we reviewed each of Willie Jewell's Twitter posts within the past year to see if the company had posted links to any articles about the company. The company referenced only a few articles on Twitter (though involving topics we had already found articles about). However, on its Twitter page, we found an announcement about an award that a Willie Jewell's location recently won. Though that award announcement was not an article (nor could we find an article about such), we included it above because it was news directly relevant to the company. Though we included it above, we didn't count it towards the 10+ articles we were looking for about the company. Our third research method involved reviewing the restaurant's website, to see if there was a news/announcements section or blog therein, which might have posted or referenced articles about the company. However, the site doesn't contain any of that information.

Since those three research methods only yielded four articles published about the company within the past year, we expanded the scope of our research beyond the past 12 months to find additional articles that were published around a similar timeframe. By doing so, we were able to find seven additional articles through our broad article searches, all of which were published within the past 22 months. Those seven articles are all included above.
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Willie Jewell's - The Competitors

The 7 true competitors to Willie Jewell's include Sonny's BBQ, Bono's Pit Bar-B-Q, Backyard Boys Bar-b-que, Fat Boys Bar B Q St Cloud, Dustins Bar-B-Q, Whitt's Bar B Que, and Red Hot & Blue Barbeque.

#1. Sonny's BBQ

#2. Bono's Pit Bar-B-Q

  • Website: Bono's Pit Bar-B-Q
  • Value Proposition: Bono's is considers itself as the best BBQ place for its clients by providing the most authentic traditional southern BBQ experience for its clients. The brand strives to ensure that every client who visit either of their location is provided with a down-home experience, "where customer service, incredible food, and full stomachs are never taken for granted".
  • This is done by ensuring that all they "cook all of our award-winning BBQ fresh every day and finish it on a live pit, the way real BBQ is supposed to be cooked".
  • Bono's Pit Bar-B-Q has an estimated revenue of $20.2 million, which makes it a true competitor to Willie Jewell's.

#3.Backyard Boys Bar-b-que

  • Website: Backyard Boys Bar-b-que
  • Value Proposition: Backyard Boys Bar-b-que believes in providing its clients with what they need at the time of need.
  • During Hurricane Irna, while the power was out in most of its locations on Florida, the brand found a way of setting up and serving "outdoor vending equipment and smokers to attract storm-weary wanderers braving Monday’s lingering winds".
  • Backyard Boys Bar-b-que has an estimated revenue of $20.2 million, which makes it a true competitor to Willie Jewell's.

#4. Fat Boys Bar B Q

#5. Dustins Bar-B-Q

  • Website: Dustins Bar-B-Q
  • Value Proposition: Dustins Bar-B-Q believe in providing their clients with the most friendly customer approach. This is achieved by listening to their clients and providing them with the most friendly approach that they demand.
  • Dustins Bar-B-Q has an estimated revenue of $10.9 million, which makes it a true competitor to Willie Jewell's.

#6. Whitt's Bar B Que

  • Website:Whitt's Bar B Que
  • Value Proposition:Whitt's Bar B Que believes in providing its clients with the most retro, yet amazing, tastes and experiences of barbeque that they deserve. While nothing is fancy about this BBQ joint, they ensure that they their menu is amazing and affordable for all.
  • Whitt's Bar B Que has an estimated revenue of $20.8 million, which makes it a true competitor to Willie Jewell's.

#7. Red Hot & Blue Barbeque

  • Website: Red Hot & Blue Barbeque
  • Value Proposition: Red Hot & Blue Barbeque believes in helping Americas to always satisfy themselves with a true American flavor that they use in all the dishes in their menu.
  • Red Hot & Blue Barbeque has an estimated revenue of $3.3 million, which makes it a true competitor to Willie Jewell's.

Research Strategy

To ensure that these are true competitors of Willie Jewell's, we sought to research on BBQ outlets that operate within the same state as the BBQ under investigation. We also researched on other competitive factors that include the number of locations, target customers, annual revenues, any year of incorporation. This enabled us to determine five BBQ joints that are considered true competitors by meeting all the criteria that we considered. However, some two other competitors including Whitt's Bar B Que and Red Hot & Blue Barbeque are not located in the state of Florida. We decided to include them as true competitors because they are based within a few miles from other BBQ joints and they met all other criteria that we used to factor in true competitors.

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Willie Jewell's - Competitors: The Findings Part One

Willie Jewel's is a franchise BBQ restaurant that is committed to providing customers with an authentic BBQ experience. Franchising for Willie Jewel's has been hindered in the past by the cost. Sonny's BBQ is a franchise restaurant that has grown quickly throughout several states. They offer a range of BBQ meals that honor the simple BBQ.

Willie Jewell's

Competitive Advantage

  • Willie Jewell's is committed to its franchise stores. They work to ensure they succeed. Their national buying power, commitment to quality, and dedication are key to the success of the company.
  • Their competitive advantage stems from doing what they do best. They are committed to authenticity in both the restaurant design and BBQ style cooking.
  • The authenticity of the experience is accentuated by the BBQ pit sitting in the center of the dining room. This creates a "dinner and show" atmosphere.
  • Willie Jewell's has recognized the importance of listening to the customer and evolving its menu to meet their tastes.


  • The company offers franchise restaurants that require a low capital outlay, with the ability to generate good sales at a reasonable profit margin.
  • Their franchise expansion has focused on diverse neighborhoods with dense residential and workforce populations. This has allowed the company to rent commercial space at a lower rent per square foot.
  • Willie Jewell's puts its longevity down to quality and the refusal to compromise on its authenticity through rapid expansion.
  • The regionally focused menu is an asset. They do not just offer one type of BBQ. Instead, they offer several types, which take the best of all the regions different styles — Texas Brisket, St Louis Ribs, and Carolina Pork.


  • The slow growth to date has seen just 16 restaurants open in the 10 years it has been operating.
  • Willie Jewell's is closely related to its parent restaurant Bono's, with a menu that serves many of the same dishes. The restaurant design is also similar, and as a result, Willie Jewell's has been called Baby Bono's on many occasions.
  • It needs to establish its own identity away from the parent company, Bono's. To a large degree, it is still defined by Bono's reputation.
  • The previously high franchise costs of $1.8 million due to the BBQ pit design contributed to slow growth. An attempt is being made to overcome this weakness with a low-cost franchise option being offered for $550,000.


  • Willie Jewell's had an annual revenue of $29 million in 2018.


  • Willie Jewell's has 16 locations throughout Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and New Hampshire. It has its headquarters in Jacksonville Florida.

Sonny's BBQ

Competitive Advantage

  • Sonny's BBQ operates on the principle of putting people first and making them feel right at home when they visit.
  • The BBQ is slow-cooked, in-house, on a daily basis.
  • In moving with the times, Sonny's BBQ has recognized the role that technology plays in the success of any business. It has invested in a comprehensive service, terminal, and tablet service throughout all of its restaurants to maintain its competitive edge.
  • The technology adopted by Sonny's BBQ allows a comprehensive analysis of all aspects of the customer experience. This enables the menu and dining experience to be tailored to meet the company's customer base.
  • Sonny's BBQ takes the time to invest in the staff. A range of different career options, including management positions, are available to staff.


  • The company is passionate about BBQ and strives to respect the time-honored traditions associated with it. They are constantly working to maintain their edge and perfect their art.
  • Sonny's BBQ has shown its patriotism and community support by supporting a range of different groups. On veteran's day, all vets were offered a free pork sandwich by way of thanks for their contributions. They also regularly acknowledge community members through "Random Acts of BBQ."
  • Reasonably priced menus and a rewards program maximize the likelihood of customers returning in the future. Promotions are a regular feature on their menus.
  • Sonny's BBQ has shown an ability to adapt its business model to met customer demands. This includes the ability to order through an app and home delivery services.
  • Despite being a BBQ restaurant, Sonny's has consistently been praised in many reviews for the vegetarian options on offer.


  • The majority of locations do not offer a full liquor bar to customers.
  • As a franchise restaurant, there is always a risk of damage to the brand if franchise owners do not maintain the parent company's high standards. Sonny's BBQ had several incidents with franchises between 2015 and 2017 that had this effect. These incidents included a waitress being fired when she complained of sexual harassment and a restaurant being closed from health code violations.
  • A consistent theme on a range of different review sites is that the customer service is not always up to the standard expected in a restaurant of this nature.



  • Sonny's BBQ has nearly 120 locations throughout Alabama, Florida's, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

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Willie Jewell's - Competitors: The Findings Part Two

Bono's Pit Bar-B-Q enjoys a longstanding history, has violated health inspection regulations, has received reviews about poor customer service, had $30.3 million in revenue, and has nine locations in Florida and a location in Denver, Colorado. Backyard Boys has a longstanding history, receives good ratings from customers in multiple categories, has tasty housemade products, has violated health inspection code, received some bad reviews about food quality, has $3.8 million in revenue, and has one location, which is in South Daytona, Florida. Willie Jewell's offers an affordable menu, provides authentic/quality food, receives good reviews from customers overall, earned $9.1 million in revenue, and has locations in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and New Hampshire.

Bono's Pit Bar-B-Q

  • Bono's competitive advantage is its longstanding history, which the company references in stating: "Bono’s has been serving Real Pit Barbecue since 1949."
  • Bono's is an iconic restaurant in Jacksonville, which is where six of its 10 restaurants are located.
  • Bono's 2014 revenue (the most-recent data we could find) totaled $30.3 million
  • There are 10 Bono's restaurants across the U.S. Six of those locations are in Jacksonville, Florida. The other locations are in Fleming Island (Florida), St. Augustine (Florida), Stuart (Florida), and Denver, Colorado.

Backyard Boys BBQ

  • Backyard Boys BBQ's competitive advantage is its longstanding history, which is reflected in the following statement provided on the company's website: "Our history is as rich as our food." The company's origins date back to the 1970s, though it previously operated under the name Sonny's Barbecue.
  • Backyard Boys has received good ratings from consumers in terms of its food, value, service, and atmosphere (4-star ratings in each category). In further support thereof, the company states that it won a "Certificate of Excellence" from 2017 to 2019.
  • The company's strengths include its tasty housemade sauces, "authentic Southern BBQ," and the great value it provides through its generous food portions.
  • Cleanliness and compliance are weaknesses for Backyard Boys. On April 22, 2019, a health inspector "found eight total violations, with one high-priority violation."
  • Other weaknesses of Backyard Boys include the fact that some customers experienced poor food quality and poor customer service.
  • Backyard Boys' revenue is approximately $3.8 million.
  • Backyard Boys has one location, which is in South Daytona, Florida.

Willie Jewell's

  • The competitive advantage for Willie Jewell's is its lower cost, more-affordable menu.
  • One of the restaurant's strengths is its history in the business, as it's the fast-casual extension of Bono's Pit, which has been in the barbecue business since 1949. Willie Jewell's has also held its own, as it has remained in business since its launch in 2009.
  • Another strength of Willie Jewell's is its "dedication to quality and authenticity." The company's commitment to those principles "is exemplified by the decades old recipes and the fact that everything is smoked on site and cut to order."
  • Willie Jewell's also receives good ratings overall from customers. As examples, two of its locations (from different states) received a 4.5/5 overall rating and a 4/5 overall rating.
  • Perceived weaknesses of Willie Jewell's include that some customers don't think it offers a good value and others mention its mediocre or even below-average food.
  • Willie Jewell's annual revenue in 2016 (most-recent data we could find) was $9.1 million.
  • The following are the cities in Florida that the company operates in: Largo, Riverview, Seminole, St. Augustine, Tallahassee, Tampa, Yulee, and Pinellas Park (scheduled to open soon).
  • The following are the cities in Georgia that the company operates in: Martinez, Brunswick, Kingsland, Marietta, and Peachtree City.
  • The company has locations in Lexington and Charleston, South Carolina.
  • The company has a location in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Research Strategy

We began our research by reviewing each restaurant's website, in order to find information about their locations, competitive advantages, and strengths. Next, we looked for articles describing each company in sources such as Restaurant Business Online. We also looked at available social media channels that the restaurants maintain. To find information about their perceived weaknesses and for some strengths too, we checked reviews about each restaurant on Trip Advisor, which provides different categories of ratings, such as food, atmosphere, and value. From those ratings, we extrapolated findings that multiple customers mentioned and/or that were referenced in score ratings. Together, this research process provided us with all the requested information about these three restaurants.
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Willie Jewell's - Competitors: The Findings Part Three

Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q has an estimated annual revenue of $8.7 million and locations in St. Cloud, Lake Wales, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Winter Haven. Dustin's Bar-B-Q's branch in Port Orange had nine health violations, and a few customers claimed that its interior needed some upgrading. Both restaurants have locations in Florida. More findings are listed below.

1. Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q

Competitive Advantage

  • Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q's competitive advantage comes from having its restaurants in five locations in Florida. These are Saint Cloud, Kissimmee, Lake Wales, Winter Haven, and Ocala. Having more locations increases its customer reach.


  • Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q offers a variety of options for catering. They customize orders to fit the customers' needs.
  • Several customers reviewed the restaurant as an excellent place to eat with a great family atmosphere and reasonable prices.


  • One of Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q's locations in Ocala was temporarily closed on February 7, 2019, due to high-priority health violations. Additionally, there were nine basic violations.



  • Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q is located in Saint Cloud, Lake Wales, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Winter Haven. All the branches are in Florida.

2. Dustin's Bar-B-Q

Competitive Advantage

  • Dustin's competitive advantage is the fulfillment of its promise to serve the best southern barbecue while creating a friendly restaurant which has been proven through customer reviews. This has been achieved due to the presence of 6 locations in Florida which live true to the company's promise.
  • Dustin's also has a catering division which caters for events of any size. The three convenient catering options are on-site, pick-up, and delivery. They are fast to respond and meet customers' budgetary requirements.


  • Dustin's serves a wide variety of meat which is defined as "Real Southern Barbeque." The varieties include pork, beef, turkey, chicken, and seafood, which are slowly smoked to perfection. Some customized meals are "Pulled pork", "Sliced pork", "fall off the bone" chicken, "St. Louis Style Spare Ribs", and "Tender Baby Back Ribs", which are all customer favorites.
  • Additionally, Dustin's serves great steaks, seafood, tasty appetizers, side dishes, and an "All You Can Eat" salad bar.
  • Dustin's can provide services for a variety of events which include weddings, rehearsal dinners, baptisms, baby showers, corporate events, lectures, seminars, block parties, and others.


  • A health inspection of Dustin's Bar-B-Q's branch in Port Orange found nine total violations, with two being high priority. For examples, employees failed to wash or change gloves when handling food; single gloves were used more than once, there was an objectionable odor in the establishment, stored food was not covered in a walk-in cooler, among other violations.



  • Dustin's Bar-B-Q is located in Deland, Edgewater, Melbourne, Port Orange, Ormond Beach, and Orlando. All the branches are in Florida.

Research Strategy

While most of the information was straightforward and easy to obtain, the annual revenue for the two companies was difficult to find. This is probably because the companies are privately held and do not release their financial information to the public. We searched through the companies' websites for annual reports which would mention annual revenue but no reports were found for either company. We also searched through company databases such as Hoovers, Crunchbase, and Zoom Info but no information about these companies was available here. Finally, a search on Owler yielded estimated annual revenues for each company and these were listed in the findings as no other sources were found.

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Willie Jewell's - Competitors: The Findings Part Four

Red Hot & Blue Barbeque is located in the Southern United States, while Whitt’s Barbecue is in Nashville. Whitt’s Barbecue has an approximate revenue of $2 million.

Red Hot & Blue Barbeque

  • Red Hot & Blue Barbeque restaurants are located in the Southern United States, where barbecue is quite a popular style, and their blue theme adds to the creative ambiance.
  • They design their menus to suit local preferences. Customers can, therefore, sample traditional Texas-, Memphis-, North Carolina- and other style barbecues.
  • Their strengths include an understanding of the local taste, having a patriotic association with the brand name, over 30 locations in the US that use authentic barbecue grills, and friendly customer service and southern hospitality.
  • Red Hot & Blue Barbeque's weaknesses are limited geographic reach compared to big international companies, a weak online presence hence low brand awareness, and they do not provide value for money.
  • Red Hot & Blue Barbeque has an estimated revenue of $3.3 million.
  • Red Hot & Blue Barbeque has restaurants in the Southern United States. The locations are Annapolis, MD, Laurel, MD, Joplin, MO, Raleigh, NC, Fort Worth, TX, Irving/Las Colinas, TX, North Richland Hills, TX, Plano, TX, Fairfax, VA, Leesburg, VA, Warrenton, VA, and Williamsburg, VA.

Whitt’s Barbecue

  • Whitt’s Barbecue competitive advantage is a long experience — over 40 years of serving hickory smoked barbecue. Their Nashville barbecue is affordable.
  • Whitt’s Barbecue was named "Best of Nashville" in Nashville Scene.
  • Their strength is that over the years, they have maintained the same way of cooking using the hardest the liveliest coal to slow cook their pork, ribs, chicken, beef, and turkey breast.
  • According to some customer reviews, Whitt's barbecue is not fantastic, and customer service is not good.
  • Whitt’s Barbecue has an approximate revenue of $2 million.
  • Whitt’s Barbecue has over 20 locations in Middle TN and the surrounding areas.


From Part 01
  • "The company then began exploring an operation with a lower price tag. The result was Willie Jewell’s, a fast-casual barbecue concept with a price tag between $550,000 and $750,000 to build."
  • "This warming cabinet is the piece of Willie Jewell’s equipment package that’s changed the most since the first store, Martino notes. The original cabinet wasn’t a pass-through unit. Instead, staffers would unload meat, place them on a cart and roll them to the front-of-the-house production line to load them in the warmer."
  • " Willie Jewell, a long-time employee/close family friend of the Adeeb family — she actually escorted CEO Joe Adeeb on his first date —who developed many of the recipes and sauces used today by both Willie Jewell’s and Bono’s."
  • "There are currently 11 Willie Jewell’s, located primarily in the Southeast, with another 4 set to open this year."
  • "Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q, in business since 1949 and based in Jacksonville, Fla., came at the development of its fast-casual cousin Willie Jewell’s Old School Bar-B-Q from a different angle. Willie Jewell’s was created nine years ago, before Millennials became the demographic darlings of the restaurant industry."
  • "The concept, with 10 existing stores and another 4 to 5 set to open this year, wasn’t designed to reach a different demographic group — but it was designed to attract a different group of franchisees."
  • "According to Bono’s and Willie Jewell’s President Josh Martino, building out a Bono’s restaurant can cost up to $2 million."
  • "Creating a smaller format store allowed the company to bring buildout costs down to between $550,000 and $750,000 — much easier numbers for franchisees and their lenders to swallow."
  • "While a pit isn’t feasible at the fast-casual price point or footprint, the chain was determined to preserve this experience at Willie Jewell’s. The concept, then, was given an open kitchen with a wood smoker. The smoker door is flush against the kitchen’s back wall, and the cooking chamber sits outside. "
  • "While Willie Jewell’s and its parent concept offer the same core experience — and use the same recipes — the company chose not to brand it with the Bono’s name. Calling it Bono’s Express or something similar could have confused guests, says Martino, so the Willie Jewell’s brand was born."
  • "The event will feature samples from local restaurants including Poke Rose, Outback Steakhouse, Ohana Coffee Kava & Tea, Sages West Bay Bistro and Willie Jewell's Old School Bar-B-Q along with artwork on display, live music, a silent auction and activities for kids. Attendees will have a chance to vote for their favorite artwork and restaurant."
  • "The down-home menu is composed of slowsmoked favorites (think platters, sandwiches and proteins by the pound) and classic sides such as hush puppies and collard greens, alongside cold beer. And don’t worry — there’s an entire bar of signature barbecue sauces for patrons to use when slathering their meat."
  • "Willie Jewell’s Old School Bar-B-Q was founded by Joe Adeeb and Josh Martino, CEO and President of Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q and Willie Jewell’s. Willie Jewell’s is the Fast Casual sister concept of Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q, a 69 year-old Southern Pit Bar-B-Q legend founded in 1949 in Jacksonville, Florida. "
  • "Just like Bono’s, Willie Jewell’s smokes all of their BBQ the old-fashioned way, the low and slow method that has made Bono’s a Jacksonville favorite since 1949 and now Willie Jewell’s since 2009."
  • "Willie Jewell’s dedication to quality and authenticity is exemplified by a promise of southern hospitality, decades old recipes and the fact that everything is smoked on site and cut to order. Smoked for hours, and served in minutes, Willie Jewell’s promises the best Bar-B-Q experience you have ever had."
  • "Our Carrollwood Willie Jewell’s was selected from over 40 CABA member restaurants who regularaly host and cater CABA’s weekly events. This was our first CABA event at Willie Jewell’s, and our CABA members loved it,” said CABA President Diane Stoddart, LTC Financial Solutions."
  • "A launch party will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday at Willie Jewell’s Old School Bar-B-Q at 1376 Whiskey Road. Appetizers and cold drinks will be served, and “swag” items will be given to attendees."
  • "The success of Waitr in Augusta and throughout the South is the reason for the expansion to Aiken, according to a press release issued Monday."
  • "In addition to Willie Jewell’s, restaurants in Aiken that have signed up with Waitr include Sonic, Maria's Mexican Restaurant, Krystal, Firehouse Subs, Diablo’s Southwest Grill, Fatz Southern Kitchen, Ferrando’s Italian Pizzeria, Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant, Mellow Mushroom, Shane’s Rib Shack, and Jersey Mike’s Subs."
  • "The finest BBQ Charleston has ever seen! Fall off the bone St. Louis style pork ribs, Texas style beef brisket and the most delicious homemade side dishes you ever tasted. Seasonal vegetables and specialty soups in the winter! Sauce station with 5 different style BBQ sauces, so there is something for everyone to fall in love with!"
  • "Willie Jewell's Old School Bar B Q opened August 5, 2009 and is located at 8983 University Blvd., Suite 106 in North Charleston, SC. It's owned by local owners Carl and Laurie Langford."
  • "Martino said it's time for Willie Jewell's to enter larger markets after experiencing success in mid-sized and small markets. Tampa and Atlanta, in particular, are bigger markets for the fast-casual concept, and markets where the restaurant will also have room to grow."
  • "We know we've achieved success in small and medium markets. Now we're asking 'how will Willie Jewell's do in markets with greater density and greater competition'?"
  • "He said he hopes this opens doors to more mid-sized and large markets in the next few years. One possibility is Savannah, where the franchisees of the restaurant's Yulee and St. Marys locations have a letter of intent to open."
  • "The fast-casual concept, which has a smaller footprint and smaller price tag than a traditional Bono's franchise, opened its first location in 2009."
  • "We eliminated the server position, decreased our building footprint," Bono's President Josh Martino said. "It opened the doors to many more entrepreneurs."
  • "Martino expects more expansion for the brand, which is less expensive for franchisees to open than a traditional Bono's. The smaller square footage of a Willie Jewell's — which hovers around 2,400 square feet — means that it can be started for $450,000 or less, as opposed to the $1.8 million it takes to open a new location of the original restaurant."
  • "Martino is hoping that the Willie Jewell's concept will pick up steam in the next few years. He says that the chain's style and uniqueness within the fast casual market will help it get there."
  • "This will be the eighth location in the growing concept, which will now have restaurants in Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. In addition, multi-unit deals have been procured in Atlanta, Tallahassee, Florida, and Tampa, Florida. Willie Jewell’s is looking to double in size in the next nine months as the concept is truly poised for growth. "
  • "Adeeb and Martino were looking for an opportunity to enter the rapidly growing fast-casual market as well as a less expensive franchise package for potential franchisees and area developers. "
  • "Willie Jewell’s dedication to quality and authenticity is exemplified by a promise of southern hospitality, decades old recipes and the fact that everything is smoked on site and cut to order. Smoked for hours, and served in minutes, Willie Jewell’s promises the best Bar-B-Q experience you have ever had so come on in and let us show you what we’re all about."
From Part 03
From Part 06