Woody’s Bar-B-Q, the Florida-based Southern barbecue franchise company, has been met with a positive response from Canadian cosumers, thanks to master franchisor Dan Masters and his six current locations. By the end of 2014, Masters hopes to triple the number of locations to 18.
“There are some major differences between opening a Woody’s Bar-B-Q in Canada and opening a franchise in the U.S.,” Masters says. “For starters, Canadians don’t ‘do lunch’ quite like Americans and they don’t order take out nearly as much. The bulk of our business is dinner—so all of our locations are full-service restaurants with fully stocked bars, as opposed to Woody’s quick service model. Secondly, our menu is more streamlined and Canadian consumer–friendly. Where in the states, one might order Cheese Fries, here we offer Bar-B-Q Poutine, a Southern twist on a Canadian dish featuring hand-cut fries topped with cheese curds, brown gravy, and pulled pork. The one thing that remains the same—whether dining in Jacksonville, Florida, or Bedford, Nova Scotia—is the quality of our food. From our slow-smoked meats to our fresh made sides, there’s a very good reason Woody’s Bar-B-Q has been around for 30 years. When it comes to authentic Southern barbecue, we know what we’re doing.”
Masters says he credits Woody’s commitment to quality, paired with his own willingness to mold the brand to fit Canadians' palettes, as the keys to the franchise company’s success in Canada. Franchise opportunities are now available across Canada for single or multi-unit operators.
“Dan Masters not only understands the Woody’s concept, he is totally in tune with how to make it resonate with the Canadian consumer,” says Woody’s Bar-B-Q co-founder, Yolanda Mills-Mawman. “We are thrilled with Canada’s response to Woody’s thus far and are excited about the promise that the coming year holds for us companywide.”
As for expansion plans in the U.S. over the course of 2014, the company is currently eyeing locations in Colorado, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Florida’s West Coast.