Old Carolina Barbecue Company

2014 Best Franchise Deals

The quick-service and fast-casual brands that offer the best bang for the franchisee’s buck.
Top fast food brands offer potential franchisees value in their growth.
Ohio-based barbecue concept Old Carolina Barbecue Company has an AUV of more than $1.4 million. Old Carolina Barbecue Company

When it comes to developing a quick-service concept, Wingstop CEO Charlie Morrison understands that the economic model remains a large piece of the puzzle. In creating a strong franchise deal that fosters company growth, however, Morrison and many other quick-service leaders know that many other tiles complete the mosaic, including corporate support, marketplace differentiation, and sales momentum.

Three’s Company?

An upstart franchise company leverages three separate brands to increase franchisees’ chances at success.

Quick serve franchise company offers three brands for franchisees to grow.
Ichor Restaurant Group initially launched in 2006 with Old Carolina Barbecue Company.

While entrepreneurs behind upstart quick-service and fast-casual concepts usually focus their growth efforts on one brand, a young Ohio-based franchise company has pinned its expansion hopes on three separate brands.

Ichor Restaurant Group serves as the umbrella company for three franchised fast-casual concepts: Old Carolina Barbecue Company, Baja Pizzafish, and Smoke the Burger Joint. With eight Old Carolina units, one Baja Pizzafish unit, and two Smoke locations open, Ichor is hoping franchisees can grow the company by leveraging the diversity of the portfolio in their markets.

Birth of a Brand

What it takes in this day and age to develop a new brand, from conception to launch.

New fast food brands like Live Basil first start as innovative business ideas.
Employees at the first Live Basil unit work the line shortly after the restaurant opened.

It always starts with a simple idea.

For Brian Bailey at Ichor Restaurant Group, it began with the idea that Ohioans needed better barbecue. Six years after that idea initially took hold, Old Carolina Barbecue opened the doors to its first unit, in Canton, Ohio. The company later opened California-inspired Baja Pizzafish and will soon launch Smoke, a concept that draws inspiration from the smoked burgers served in Old Carolina and the sauces from Baja Pizzafish.

In Ohio, a Taste of Carolinas, California

For Ichor Restaurant Group cofounder and Ohio native Brian Bailey, the Midwestern version of barbecue he grew up with just didn’t stack up to the barbecue he had tasted elsewhere in the country. So Bailey, along with high school buddy Tim Hug, took matters in his own hands and, after several road trips touring barbecue restaurants in the Carolinas, opened Old Carolina Barbecue restaurant in 2006, in Massillon, Ohio.

Old Carolina Barbecue Signs to Develop in Cleveland

Old Carolina Barbecue Company (oldcarolina.com), a fast casual concept founded in 2006 by the owners of Ichor Restaurant Group, has signed its first area development agreement with Hospitality Partners, Incorporated. HPI committed to opening five Old Carolina units in the east side of Cleveland over the next three years.