US barbecue brand heads for Australia

Dickey's Barbecue Pit
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

US barbecue franchise Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has revealed plans to open 50 restaurants in Australia.

The family-owned, 79-year-old firm has entered a letter of intent with Aussie restaurant group QSR Foods Pty Ltd.

Roland Dickey Jr., CEO of Dickey’s Capital Group, said “It’s an incredible feeling to make plans for our fifth continental conquest and continue my family’s legacy as the largest barbecue concept in the world.”

The fast-casual concept has expanded worldwide with two international locations in the UAE and operates over 500 locations in 44 states. Dickey’s already has six overseas partnerships in Abu Dhabi, Brazil, Dubai, Egypt, Georgia and Pakistan.

For QSR Foods Pty Ltd Richa Goyal said “We couldn’t be prouder to bring the world’s largest barbecue restaurant to Australian soil with the opening of our first locations in Brisbane and Queensland next year.”

A feature of Dickey’s restaurants is a menu based on barbecued meats smoked onsite in a hickory wood burning pit. The first Aussie outlet will include the brand’s Texas-style barbecue classics such as hickory-smoked brisket and ribs with sides like mac n cheese and creamed spinach.

Dickey’s is the latest US brand to see the potential of an Australian market. In July 2020 burger chain Five Guys, signed a deal for Australian outlets with Seagrass Hospitality Group.

And in late 2019 the Carl’s Jr. Australian franchisor, the Bansal Group, opened its first Cinnabon outlet.

Earlier this month Zarraffa’s franchisor Kenton Campbell unveiled his own one-off smokehouse concept, the Sugar Creek Smokehouse. There are no current plans to franchise.