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As we prepare to enter 2020, it is becoming more than evident that food trends are changing. Across the country, restaurants are starting to offer more plant-based items on their menu, catering to those with dietary restrictions, and putting more emphasis on sustainability. Here at Famous Dave’s, we are proud to be the first BBQ franchise to lead the charge! A recent article from SW News Media chronicled the newest addition to our menu: plant-based options.

We pride ourselves in having “something for everyone” at Famous Dave’s, and that now includes those with dietary restrictions! Different from many other restaurant franchises, we are sourcing our burgers from Beyond Burger, a plant-based meat supplier that makes its meat from pea protein. We did this intentionally, as many of the other plant-based suppliers source their protein from soy. Many Americans have soy allergies, and we’d like them to be able to enjoy our barbecue as well! We also offer more variety of plant-based options than other franchises, with not just one, but four menu items! “We really wanted to allow people some choices,” describes Famous Dave’s Culinary Director Sylvia Matzke-Hill. “We have a bowl section, we have tacos, we have burgers so you can feel more part of the group.”

This recent news isn’t just a win for our BBQ franchise’s customers, but for Famous Dave’s Franchise Owners themselves. Being able to cater to a more substantial portion of the population will only bring in more business and higher profits for owners of our fast-casual dining franchise. These will complement well with the franchise’s multiple revenue streams. These include in-store dining, catering, to-go orders, merchandise, and alcohol sales. Additionally, Famous Dave’s innovative technology will aid its customers in getting their new plant-based meals as quickly and efficiently as possible. Many other restaurant franchises struggle with this. Customers can order online for delivery or pick up, as well as through the Famous Dave’s app!

Scalability is a crucial part of the Famous Dave’s business model, and implementing changes on a national and international scale is something at which our brand excels. Currently, there are 130 franchise locations across the United States. After the trial period for the new plant-based menu items, we plan on rolling them out to 34 locations, eventually implementing them franchise-wide. Our brand has three types of flexible, scalable store models, including the Quick Service Model (2,000 – 3,500 sq. ft. with 50 – 100 person capacity), the Flex Service Model (3,500 – 5,000 sq. ft. with 100 – 200 person capacity), and the Full-Service Model (5000 sq. ft. plus, with 200 – 260 person capacity). This variety of options allows entrepreneurs from all walks of life to find the perfect fit when franchising with Famous Dave’s, helping our brand to continue to expand nationwide. 

Brand recognition is also something that Famous Dave’s can rely on as it expands. Our Founder and legendary Pitmaster “Famous Dave” Anderson, has quite the reputation among the barbecue community. The brand currently has 382,000 followers and 407,000 likes on Facebook, as well as a 3.5-star rating on Yelp with over 500 reviews. These are valuable in fostering brand awareness and aiding marketing efforts to bring in new customers. The Famous Dave’s Support team plays a significant role in assisting Franchise Owners with their marketing efforts, as well as with any steps in their franchising process, including finding real estate and training new staff. With so much assistance from the support staff, Franchise Owners can focus on running their business efficiently and have more flexibility in their schedules. 

By implementing plant-based items onto its menu, Famous Dave’s isn’t just helping to bring its barbecue to new customers. It is preparing the brand and its Franchise Owners for success in the future. Recent trends show that more and more consumers are eating plant-based diets and taking a more sustainable approach to eating out. We are proud to be on the front lines of this movement at Famous Dave’s and cannot wait to see what the future brings!


To learn how you can help bring a sustainable, delicious BBQ franchise to your community, visit our franchising site here.

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