Industry News | October 22, 2009

NC BBQ Joint Heading Across State Borders

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Smithfield's Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q, an Eastern North Carolina–style Bar-B-Q, announced its new Internet campaign aimed at reaching customers outside of North Carolina.

Since opening the first restaurant in 1964, Smithfield's Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q has grown to 33 locations today. The company has an aggressive growth plan including expansion outside of North Carolina. Thanks to locations near major interstates, former North Carolina residents, and social media, Smithfield's Chicken N' Bar-B-Q has a name for itself outside the N.C. borders. But how would the company continue to push the brand out of state without building restaurants?

That question was what Smithfield's Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q marketing director Richard Averitte needed to spark some creative sales expansion ideas.

“People had been requesting that we ship our Bar-B-Q for years,” he says. “We decided to answer their request, which would allow us to expand a different way, without the need for building additional physical restaurants.” Thus, the Smithfield's internet Bar-B-Q distribution was born.

“Our process has been refined, so folks can get the best Eastern North Carolina style Bar-B-Q available, just as fresh as the day it is made,” Averitte says.

If an order is placed during the week, the customer will receive an order confirmation via email, and the order is sent into the “Bar-B-Queue.” All orders must be placed by Sunday at midnight. On Monday evening the required amount of pork to fulfill the orders is loaded into the ovens at the designated online-order provider store. On Tuesday the Bar-B-Q is hand-pulled and mixed and subjected to a freeze blast to bring the product below 40 degrees. Each order is then separated into 2.5-pound or 5-pound, vacuum-sealed packages and stored in a freezer. On Wednesday morning, orders are shipped to customers in insulated coolers with cold packs. Customers will receive orders within two days.

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