VooDoo BBQ Opens First of Five Restaurants in Austin, Nation’s Best Small Business Market

VooDoo BBQ & Grill, the nation’s fastest-growing barbecue franchise, is expanding to yet another new state, Texas, in an urban market considered the best in the country for small business.

Owners Brent and Malinda Willits plan to open Monday at 2601 S. Interstate 35 in Round Rock, a suburb just north of the rapidly growing capital city of Austin. The expansion is the first of five planned units for the Austin area. It’s only the second location VooDoo BBQ has opened outside its home state of Louisiana.

“We’ve been marketing heavily over the last four months, going to talk to people, dropping off coffee mugs, that sort of thing, and people are getting really excited about it,” said Brent Willits, whose daughter Angela will manage the store. “I really think we’re offering something that’s different, and I think the whole idea of Cajun-Creole-Caribbean fusion is really something that’s going to do great. The store looks great… If we can get people in to try the product, they’ll be back.”

VooDoo BBQ Opens First of Five Restaurants in AustinThe Round Rock location opening represents an important step in the development of VooDoo BBQ, a New Orleans-based franchise system that undertook an aggressive expansion plan last year. Within a few months, the company grew from 12 locations, all in south Louisiana, to a planned 53 in six states, including multi-unit developments in the Carolinas, Texas and Florida.

“We believe this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between VooDoo BBQ and the Austin area,” said VooDoo CEO Tony Avila. “Texans already love their barbecue, and VooDoo’s Louisiana flavor and clean, colorful atmosphere adds something new to a thriving culinary scene there. We’re excited to see Brent and Malinda get started.”

VooDoo opened its first location in New Orleans on Mardi Gras Day 2002. 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