Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc. announced a new effort to cut costs with a non-traditional format.

Earlier this year, in light of the recent recession, Dickey’s pulled financing efforts in-house, working with local banks and credit unions instead of relying on larger corporations to offer reasonable financing.

“We have to do what we can for our business partners,” says finance manager Lauren Parker. “We have our owner/operators’ best interests at heart, whereas some larger banks and mortgage companies we used to work with don’t. Relying on them to make our business work just wasn’t panning out. So, instead of accepting circumstances tied with the recession, we took matters into our own hands. Our initiative has produced happier owner/operators getting into the green a lot quicker and in turn, Dickey’s has not only weathered the recession, it has grown in spite of it.”

Now, more and more Dickey’s are opening in convenience store locations, merging with existing gas stations.

Director of construction Daniel Sibley says this move paired with Dickey’s distinct product will put Dickey’s on the cutting edge of the quick-serve industry, offering larger profit margins and less overhead.

“More and more convenient store owners are looking for ways to supplement their fuel income,” he says. “These owners want national chains to improve their visibility and for many, Dickey’s is the perfect fit. With our new and existing owner/operators’ wallets in mind, we are taking advantage of that desire, opening Dickey’s up to endless opportunities.”

Sibley says there are already seven convenience store locations nationwide and Dickey’s hopes to double that number by the end of 2010.

“We can work extremely fast in this format, cutting our project timeline in half to get profits in the hands of our owners quickly,” he says. “Also, with sub-six figure conversion costs, often times the owner will self finance, eliminating the time spent waiting on a loan to close. For example, we just opened a Dickey’s in this format for only $34,000 in less than 30 days—and that total included his franchise fee.”

Sibley says opening a convenience store location can cost a little at $28,000 in some cases.

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