This Major BBQ Chain Is Expanding to 100 New Locations
We are about to see a whole lot more Dickey's delicious Texas-style barbecue across North America—but the food will come sans the chain's traditional locations. That's because the BBQ giant just signed a deal with the Toronto, Ontario–based operator Ghost Kitchen Brands, which will bring it to hundreds of the company's carryout-only locations.
Beginning this month, the chain's menu will start to appear at Ghost Kitchen Brands locations alongside the company's already existing offerings of Cinnabon, Quizno's, Nathan's Famous, and others. The expansion will include the United States as well as Canada. According to Restaurant Business, many of the operator's outposts are located inside Walmart stores—often set up in spaces vacated by the mass fast-food restaurant exodus that took place at the big-box retailer over the last several years.
Dickey's is already the largest BBQ restaurant chain in America, with some 550 locations as of mid-2021 and dozens of recently announced openings in the works. This isn't the chain's first foray into ghost kitchen expansion—in fact, it's more like a diversification. Earlier this year, Dickey's said it was planning to add its menu to at least 100 ghost kitchens operated by Miami-based Combo Kitchen.
It's little surprise the company was ready for such growth, having been in the BBQ business for 80 years. Dickey's was founded in Dallas in 1941 and today the chain has a presence in as many as 42 states as well as several countries around the world. The company is privately held and remains a family operation.
But the chain also saw its revenue soar in 2020, besting previous years thanks to increased digital sales during the pandemic, according to a corporate press release. The pivot to ghost kitchens seems sure to further improve the numbers for the legacy brand.
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