There’s a French term people use in south Louisiana when they have an urge or strong desire, usually (no surprise) for food: en vie. “Man, I’ve got an en vie for some alligator sauce piquante.” “Hey, Mama, you finish bakin’ dem stuffed mirlitons? This en vie is gonna kill me!” You can have an en vie for anything, though: Outdoor patio furniture, a new flat-screen TV or a great business venture.
In the last year, smart entrepreneurs from all over the Southeast have been satisfying their collective en vie to open a BBQ restaurant that’s fun, serves great food quickly, has boundless growth potential and draws people in with the fun and flavor of New Orleans: VooDoo BBQ & Grill.
A year ago, we had 12 restaurants, all of them in south Louisiana. Now we’ve branched out into the Carolinas with a restaurant that just opened in Greenville, S.C., and we have seven more Carolinas units planned, plus multi-unit expansions planned for the Austin, Texas, area, Florida and the Mississippi Gulf Coast — a total of 41 more restaurants in six states. And we’re still growing.
So why the en vie? Word’s spreading that VooDoo BBQ stands at the leading edge of some of the top trends in the food franchising industry:
- Fast casual with a bullet: Fast casual restaurants, which occupy a niche between fast food and sit-down casual restaurants like Applebee’s or Chili’s, constitute the fastest-growing segment of the restaurant industry. Guests love being able to get food that’s served quickly and priced reasonably — and is better than burgers and tacos.
- Folks can’t get enough barbecue: We think barbecue will be the next big trend in food franchising because of the size of the demand and — talk about an en vie — the natural urge people have for good barbecue. It makes people happy.
- Homestyle, comfort and soul food have staying power: The National Restaurant Association identifies all three categories under their annual “What’s Hot” list but also ranks them as “perennial favorites” — indicating that barbecue is both trendy and evergreen. For a food franchisor, what more could you want?
- Our franchise owners are happy people: We rank high on Franchise Business Review’s annual survey on franchisee satisfaction, a report recognized as the authority on franchise systems’ health. For a food franchisee, it’s a dream product: Good food that makes people happy, served quickly and affordably in an environment in which everyone’s happy. Who wouldn’t want a job like that?
If you’ve been thinking about going into business for yourself, and you think you might want to open a BBQ restaurant and the next chapter of your career, you should take a good, long look at VooDoo BBQ.
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.