Food: America's Largest Barbecue Chain Is Opening 100 Unique New Locations

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If you enjoy grabbing a Nathan's Famous hot dog from the tiny island kiosks at Walmart, or you're excited that Wendy's will soon be available in a similar way, then grab your BBQ bib: The world's largest BBQ chain is about to bring homestyle Texas barbecue to "at least 100 more locations within the next year."

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Dickey's Barbecue Pit leveraged pandemic woes to an advantage. Recently they introduced two new brands, Wing Boss and Big Deal Burger, that make their products under these brands available for delivery via online order.

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Now, Dickey's is taking an even bigger step outside the brick-and-mortar restaurant to make some of its Dickey's Barbecue Pit menu, as well as Wing Boss and Big Deal Burger items, available through a ghost kitchen model.

According to a Thursday press release, Dickey's has partnered with Combo Kitchen—a Miami-based restaurant consulting firm that matches well known franchise brands with "restaurant owners and entrepreneurs" who wish to "select from a variety of established brands for placement in new or existing restaurants, offered for takeout and delivery only."

Currently with 550 restaurant locations, 80-year-old Dickey's Barbecue Pit is said to be the world's largest barbecue chain. The joint release explains: "With this partnership, Combo Kitchen expects to expand Dickey's by at least 100 more locations within the next year." This will mean a greater than 18 percent growth in Dickey's current footprint.

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On what inspired this unique growth strategy, Dickey's Capital Group CEO, Roland Dickey, Jr. said, "Combo Kitchen is a unique franchising opportunity which allows us flexibility to enter new markets at a much lower build cost for operators … and add new ways to serve our guests Texas-style barbecue." The release also nodded to the desire for convenience among millennials that was driven higher by the pandemic as a reason to evolve beyond the traditional restaurant concept.

A representative at Dickey's did not immediately respond to our question about where in the country Dickey's hopes to take the new ghost kitchen locations.

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