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Restaurant Brands' Embrace of BBQ Signals Power of VooDoo BBQ, BBQ Trend

NEW ORLEANS, LA--(Marketwired - Jul 29, 2013) - Everywhere you look these days, restaurants are adding barbecue specials to their menus to take advantage of the BBQ trend that's sweeping the quick-service restaurant segment.

Just this year:

  • McAlister's Deli has introduced a pulled pork BBQ sandwich to its summer menu.
  • Togo's, a West Coast sandwich franchise, resurrected its pulled pork sandwich, served with coleslaw and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce.
  • The homestyle-cuisine franchise Boston Market made St. Louis-style barbecue ribs a permanent menu item after their introduction in April led to a 16 percent increase in sales.
  • Burger King is offering two kinds of BBQ sandwich: a Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich and a Carolina BBQ Whopper Sandwich.

"The menu additions are strong confirmation that barbecue is an in-demand food for restaurant guests all over the country," said Tony Avila, CEO of the fast-growing New Orleans-based barbecue franchise VooDoo BBQ & Grill.

"Barbecue in general is an underrepresented cuisine in most markets," Avila said. "When you combine a type of food that everyone loves with New Orleans flavor and color and a fun, fast-casual environment, you have a franchise system with a great opportunity -- and that's what VooDoo BBQ has been doing since its founding."

The Chicago-based restaurant consulting and market research firm Technomic has identified barbecue restaurants as one of the restaurant industry's top emerging trends. While diners love the comfort of old-fashioned Southern cuisine, "consumers are eager to try new variations, attracted by interesting flavor combinations and ethnic influences."

"That's VooDoo to a T," said Avila, a New Orleans native of Cuban/Honduran heritage. "Our goal from the beginning has been to spice up a traditional Southern food with exciting and rich new flavors from Louisiana and the Caribbean and serve it in a relaxed, fun atmosphere."

VooDoo BBQ & Grill opened its first location in New Orleans on Mardi Gras Day 2002 and has expanded to reach 57 planned locations in six states. VooDoo serves competition-style barbecue beef, pork and chicken with unique side dishes, plus salads and sandwiches, in a clean, colorful fast-casual environment. For more information, visit voodoobbq.com or voodoofranchise.com.