Woody's Bar-B-Q® Names Steve Gardner Director of Franchise Development

Classic Southern BBQ Chain Eyes Strategic Growth with Aid of Seasoned Industry Veteran
By: Woody's Bar-B-Q
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jan. 17, 2023 - PRLog -- With an impressive 43-year history of success in Florida, classic Southern BBQ chain – Woody's Bar-B-Q – is making moves to expand its footprint within and beyond the Sunshine State's borders. To lead that charge, Woody's has hired seasoned franchise developer and founder of QSR Franchise Development Group, Steve Gardner, as its Director of Franchise Development. The recipient of a 2022 Franchise Broker Award from 1851 Franchise, Gardner has represented everything from an up-and-coming nutritional supplement brand to a century-old clam bar. In his new role with Woody's Bar-B-Q, Gardner is planning steady, strategic growth of the brand to ensure a win-win for the franchise and its incoming franchisees. States included in the initial push are Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi.

"There's a real niche for the Woody's Bar-B-Q product," said Gardner. "Slow-smoked barbecue is a segment that is underserved in certain parts of the country. But before we make those introductions, we're looking to solidify and expand brand recognition in the South in markets where barbecue is considered popular fare. Given the exceptional quality of its food, Woody's can go toe-to-toe with any barbecue brand. Beyond its menu, I believe the Woody's Bar-B-Q story, the longevity of the brand, and the knowledge of its founders will really resonate with prospective franchisees and patrons alike – just as they did for me."

Co-founded by Woody Mills and Yolanda Mills-Mawman, Woody's Bar-B-Q debuted with one location in Jacksonville, Florida in 1980 before the company began franchising in 1989. Today, the majority of its franchise locations are all concentrated in Florida, with one franchise in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. Three locations – including the original restaurant – are company-owned, and both Woody and Yolanda remain regular fixtures with local celebrity status at each. Many of the original recipes that launched the brand are still prominently featured on the current Woody's menu.

Gardner added, "To find the right brand partners, we've raised the bar on qualifications – mainly seeking well-capitalized candidates with a wealth of restaurant experience. We are already witnessing a lot of viable interest in Florida, Texas, and North Carolina, but have received inquiries as far away as Oklahoma. What really sets Woody's apart is its immersive training program and close-knit family culture. When you become a Woody's Bar-B-Q franchisee, you become a part of the family."

To learn more about opening a Woody's Bar-B-Q, contact Steve Gardner at 201-873-2463 or steve@woodys.com. For more information, visit www.woodys.com.
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Location:Jacksonville - Florida - United States
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