Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc. struck a 100-store development deal in the southern half of California. This is the largest development deal for the 72-year-old franchise known for its slow-smoked Texas barbecue.

“We have a proven business model coupled with an exciting growth proposition that is attracting larger development deals,” says Roland Dickey, Jr., president and CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc. “We’re gaining momentum in key markets that have embraced our brand. My grandfather would be thrilled to see his slow smoked Texas barbecue all across the West Coast.”

Two former KFC franchisees, Kevin Roche and Bryan Roche, along with partner Phil Fontes are leading the development group that plans to add 100 new locations to the existing 372 locations across the country. The 10-year multiunit deal will add 100 new Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants in Fresno, The Inland Empire, Greater Los Angeles, and the Central Coastal market areas.

“California is a perfect growth market for Dickey’s Barbecue,” Kevin Roche says. “There is no other brand taking fast casual barbecue across the country like Dickey’s Barbecue—we feel fortunate to be part of such an innovative franchise brand.”

The Roches own locations in Hanford, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, and Santa Maria and are in the construction phase on a site in Seaside. There are 41 Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants in California.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Growth, News, Dickey's Barbecue Pit