A bright future is ahead for North Texas–based Soulman’s Bar-B-Que. Its 40-plus-year brand is seeing booming growth surpassing 500 percent during the last eight years. Currently with 15 established restaurants, 11 have emerged in the last eight years under the leadership of Brett Randle, CEO of Soulman’s Bar-B-Que.
With plans to continue expansion, Randle explains what makes Soulman’s so successful and why this growth is possible.
“As a team we are passionately committed to keeping things true and simple. Our future growth depends on a daily focus on what makes our restaurants successful: great food, great service, and clean environment in which to enjoy it. Preserving our heritage is vital to us at Soulman's. As a 41-year-old brand, we try hard to stay away from trendiness. We are a traditional Texas Bar-B-Que house. We do things the accepted way, the right way, and we’re resolved to continue that through our growth,” Randle says.
This classic style of barbecue enables Soulman’s to pursue continued growth with four more restaurant locations anticipated to open.
“In 2008, we had four locations and we’ve grown to 15. We have 16, 17, 18, and 19 already on the way for 2016,” Randle says.
And this growth has nothing to do with luck. In a commodity market that relies on fluctuating meat prices, Soulman’s has been able to adjust to these market changes and come out on top. When beef prices soared last year, Soulman’s strategized to provide the best, affordable, and tasty options for their customers.
“Twenty-fourteen was a challenging year with regard to cost of goods. Specifically, brisket prices skyrocketed to unprecedented levels very quickly. Considering brisket makes up approximately 35 percent of Soulman's food spend, a near 100 percent increase in a matter of months was potentially catastrophic. However, our team rose to the challenge. We introduced more efficient products, renegotiated food deals, and created new menu items that would sway our product mix away from brisket. Overall the plan was a great success,” Randle says.
Compared to the national average of restaurant growth, Soulman’s is a standout establishment. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 executive summary, “restaurant-and-foodservice sales are projected to top $709 billion, up 3.8 percent from 2014.” In comparison to similar markets, Soulman’s percentage of growth shines.