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After spending a year as the owner of a Woody’s Bar-B-Q franchise in Jacksonville, Florida, industry veteran Jack Dunsmoor has decided to add more to his plate he will open his second Woody’s franchise in the fourth quarter of 2014 in a premier location at the intersection of Baymeadows Road and Philips Highway in Jacksonville: just 4.5 miles away from his current location. While assuming ownership of an additional location in the midst of the holiday rush was far from ideal, Dunsmoor believed it was an opportunity he couldn’t let slip by.
“The Baymeadows location is one of the best in Jacksonville, so the opportunity to acquire it was too good to pass up,” Dunsmoor says. “Situated in a part of Jacksonville that has lots of traffic, local businesses and housing, I truly believe it has the potential to be a stellar restaurant that can help elevate the brand to new levels. The original owner did a marvelous job on the build-out. It boasts terrific ambiance, a full liquor bar, and seating for 160 – so it’s well-suited to handle a lot of business.”
With 40 years in the foodservice industry, Dunsmoor had entered his relationship with Woody’s Bar-B-Q with every intention of owning more than one franchise. First launched in Jacksonville with a kitschy, hometown barbecue-joint vibe at its original location on University Boulevard, Woody’s Bar-B-Q was the combined vision of Woody Mills and Yolanda Mills-Mawman. The partners soon opened additional locations throughout Jacksonville before ultimately making the decision to franchise in the Southeast in 1989. The concept at the core of the company has always been an owner-operator model, which isn’t necessarily multi-unit franchisee-friendly; however, Dunsmoor believes it just might be the key to further brand growth for the 35-year-old, authentic southern barbecue chain.
While three Woody’s Bar-B-Q locations continue to function as corporate stores under the watch of Mills and Mills-Mawman, the remaining 29 locations – either open or in development – were individually owned until now. With a history that includes a five-year stint as VP and area developer for Firehouse Subs, Dunsmoor is well-suited to lead the charge as the first multi-unit franchisee in the U.S. and Canada for Woody’s Bar-B-Q.
“The product speaks for itself,” Dunsmoor says. “While a number of our menu items can go head-to-head with some of the best barbecue restaurants in the country, we offer many products that are far superior – particularly our Texas Beef Brisket – which is second to none— and our Bar-B-Q Chicken, which is a taste of Southern barbecue perfection. Add an outstanding business model to top-notch product quality and that’s a recipe for success – whether entering into the Woody’s Franchise System as an individual location owner or as a multi-unit franchisee. The Woody’s brand on the whole has excellent growth potential. We are constantly meeting new customers who have never eaten at Woody’s Bar-B-Q, and are blown away by the quality of our slow-smoked meats and fresh-prepared side items. Like the original ‘mom-n-pop’ Woody’s business model, I believe it’s important for multi-unit franchisees to remain closely involved with their restaurants – so it helps to find locations that are close together, but don’t compete with one another.”
Since purchasing his second location in the Baymeadows area of Jacksonville, Dunsmoor has focused his efforts on following Woody’s corporate procedures to the letter to ensure the best food quality and a positive customer service experience. Dunsmoor and his team are also planning to add more events to the calendar at the Baymeadows location, including a regular trivia night, and are gearing up for a big Super Bowl party featuring food and drink specials such as $1 drafts and $.60 wings. Dunsmoor is a 14-year resident of Jacksonville, and is deeply involved with the community served by both of his Woody’s Bar-B-Q locations – including the local schools, fire stations, and police departments.