Andy Abbajay joins Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants as First Chief Operations Officer

Andy Abbajay joins Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants as First Chief Operations Officer

Nation’s Largest Barbecue Chain Brand Adds Leadership Roll to Enhance Growth Efforts

Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., the nation’s largest barbecue chain, today announced Andy Abbajay as the new chief operations officer. Employing multiple touch points, additional support layers and a collaborative leadership style, Abbajay will lead the brand as it closes in on its 500th restaurant opening and the brand’s eventual international expansion.

“Andy joins us with a proven track record of creative problem solving and will be instrumental in leveraging best in class operation procedures for our growing system,” said Roland Dickey, Jr., president and CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.  “He is a results-oriented leader and laser focused on successful operations and continued growth.”

Prior to joining Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., Abbajay served as vice president of operations for Sbarro where he was instrumental in leveraging increased support and execution to re-engage owners as the brand emerged from bankruptcy. In addition, he has served as chief operations officer for Back Yard Burgers and chief executive officer for Restaurant Growth Brands.

“I’m proud to be part of such a driven brand dedicated to quality, operational efficiency and supporting our franchise owners at every restaurant,” said Abbajay. “Operations is the largest touch point to ensuring our franchisees meet standards and run successful businesses — I look forward to being part of taking this brand to the next level.”

Abbajay holds a bachelor of science in business from Nova Southeastern University. The newly established function within leadership comes at an exciting time as the company plans to add 100 new restaurants by 2015.

Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., the nation’s largest barbecue chain was founded in 1941 by Travis Dickey with the goal of authentic slow smoked barbecue. Today, all meats are still slow smoked on-site in each restaurant living up to the company tagline, “We Speak Barbecue.” The Dallas-based family-run barbecue franchise offers a quality selection of signature meats, home style sides, tangy barbecue sauce and free kids’ meals every Sunday. The fast-casual concept has expanded to over 400 locations in 40 states. This year Dickey’s Barbecue was recognized for the third year by Nation’s Restaurant News as a “Top 10 Growth Chain” and by Technomic as the “Fastest-growing restaurant chain in the country.” For more information, visit or for barbecue franchise opportunities call 866-340-6188.