VooDoo BBQ Franchise Plans Expansion, New Look in 2012

VooDoo BBQ & Grill, a Louisiana-based barbecue restaurant franchise that grew spectacularly in 2011, intends to continue its expansion in 2012 with a series of new development agreements, grand openings and a new look for the restaurants themselves.

“VooDoo BBQ had an exciting year in 2011, and we plan to build on that momentum in the new year,” said CEO Tony Avila. “We’ll be opening our first locations outside Louisiana early in 2012, and we’re optimistic that it will lead to franchise opportunities in exciting new markets. Diners can expect brighter, airier, more open restaurant buildings, too.”

The highlights:

  • New openings: VooDoo BBQ will open its first location outside Louisiana in January, when franchisee Patrick Kerr and his team start serving guests in Greenville, S.C., the first stage of an eight-unit expansion in the Carolinas. By mid-year, franchisees are expected to open their first locations in Texas and Florida, two other states hosting multi-unit VooDoo expansions.
  • New development agreements: Avila said the company has set a growth goal of 10 or so agreements with new franchisees in 2012. “We’ve been very deliberate about growing our business the right way — making sure we have solid systems and home office stability in place before launching major expansions,” Avila said.
  • New home office personnel: VooDoo wants to strengthen support for franchisees and operational excellence with an even more robust home office staff, including a training director and additional franchise director, plus operational staff and area developers.
  • New restaurant design: The company is working on a new restaurant design featuring an open kitchen and broader seating space to allow managers to easily view employees and diners. “We want our managers to be right there in the kitchen, making sure the quality of the product is always to our high standards,” Avila said.

VooDoo opened its first location in New Orleans on Mardi Gras Day 2002 and has expanded to reach 53 planned locations in six states. VooDoo serves competition-style barbecue beef, pork and chicken with unique side dishes, plus salads and sandwiches, in a clean, colorful fast-casual environment. For more information, visit voodoobbq.com or voodoobbqfranchise.com.

Chad Tramuta