Celebrating the opening of a Dickey's Barbecue Pit location, as a franchisee in Auburn did last month, could become a regular occurrence around the Puget Sound.
"That owner-operator is wanting to know where and when he can open another straightaway," franchise development manager Lauren Parker says.
Dickey's already has locations in Bonney Lake and Lynden, and will soon open stores in Olympia and Lacey. Parker says the company plans to open three or four stores in the Seattle area over the next six months.
"Seattle is one of our hot markets," she says.
According to Parker, Seattle is starved for hickory-smoked barbecue. "We've had such a warm welcome from everyone," she says.
Parker says the glut of "second-generation restaurant spaces" - venues vacated by failed restaurants - makes the cost of franchising affordable. Although few of the strip mall and shopping center locations that the chain favors come equipped with pits, Parker says pit manufacturers "lower prices for us" because of the company's size.
If eaters have patronized Dickey's in an airport, Parker says they know exactly what to expect from the planned restaurants.
"As a national franchise, we keep everything exactly the same," she says.