Discover the secret sauce behind creating an unforgettable guest experience with Laura Ray Dickey, the CEO of Dickey’s BBQ Pit. Dickey’s BBQ is a legacy brand that began in 1941. In this episode, Laura pulls back the curtain on what it takes to serve up mouthwatering barbecue and lays bare the critical decisions that shape a beloved brand.
What is the most important aspect of the guest experience nowadays?
“Trust and quality. You’ve got to have trust with the guest. They have to know that they’re coming in and what experience that you’re going to deliver on that experience. Part of that trust is consistency. They want a consistent experience, they want their expectations to be met, they want a fair price, they want high quality. I think that trust, but then delivering on that quality itself in the food. You know we’re in the food and the folks business . . .
. . . but we make sure that we have our focus right and that’s food and folks. Every day you could have all of these challenges or projects or things that you have to deal with, but in that moment when you unlock the doors, you’ve got to be food and folks, and so I think that’s the trust and the quality.“
What are some tactics you use to improve the guest experience?
“We have a benchmark that lets us know that if the system is in a good place or not, if any individual location is in a good place, so we look at that sales per complaint and manage that. Why that’s so effective for us is when it peaks and valleys according to the fluctuation of your business and the seasonality you are able to hide a problem that you don’t run into when it’s a little bit slower pace and if that consistent average is there, you know that you have a well-trained pit crew, you know that you have a pit master that knows what they’re doing, you know that you have a good recipe, discipline.“
Who in the restaurant industry deserves an ovation?
Christine Johnson, COO of La Madeleine
“I have enjoyed watching is the COO of LaMadeline, Christine Johnson. They’re here. They’re Dallas based. She was our former general counsel, actually for several years, and she joined LaMadeline and has worked up and taken over as COO for the brand and I think she’s pretty incredible.”