Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque
A strong menu of slowly smoked barbeque allowed Mighty Quinn’s to capture hearts in New York City, and now the company is franchising its concept to expand into more regions.
In America, barbeque is a great equalizer, beloved by young and old, north and south, rural and urban. And while some urban areas are well known for their barbeque – Kansas City, Houston and Memphis, for example – for a long time, good barbeque was hard to find in New York City. With a strong foundation of meat cooked slow and low, Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque set out to deliver high-quality barbeque to New York City, and did so well that now franchisees are taking it further.
“The brand is nearing its seven-year anniversary, and we are establishing ourselves as the go-to place for authentic barbeque in New York City and New Jersey,” Co-Founder Micha Magid explains. “This is the foundation we have to build our U.S. franchise business – it’s about having a casual, laid-back atmosphere where you can enjoy great barbeque.
“Barbeque is universally loved, but when you go into urban areas, especially up north, it’s almost non-existent,” he adds. “It hasn’t caught up to demand, so we are excited about growing with our franchisees.”
Mighty Quinn’s is a fast-casual restaurant chain, which Magid founded with restaurant industry vet Christos Gourmos and celebrity chef Hugh Mangum, who is the company’s pitmaster, having grown up in Texas learning the secrets of good barbeque from his dad. The company’s approach is to use only all-naturally raised meats and bring together the best of all great barbeque techniques to create something unique. All of the meats are seasoned with special spice blends and then slow smoked over oak, cherry and apple wood for many hours. Mighty Quinn’s menu is then completed with chef-driven sides and craft beers, complimented with outstanding service.
“The core menu is great, and it will stay tried and true as we grow,” Magid says. “We like to incorporate regional ingredients, so we might offer something that is locally known or something unique at a franchise location that stands out in the area. That could be a certain vegetable for a side dish or a selection from local craft breweries. We always want to have a community element to make each location special.”
Go-To for Barbeque
Recognized for its quality by the New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Food Network, Food & Wine and Zagat, Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque is dedicated to remaining a category leader by ensuring a consistent experience for customers at every location. To help franchisees deliver a high level of quality, the company provides extensive training – the meats are smoked in-store, after all – as well as real estate advice, architectural plans, marketing support, brand awareness, operational support and access to its equipment and supplier vendor network.
“It really comes down to our training program,” Magid notes. “We have a fairly elaborate barbeque school that we call The Rub. It goes over barbeque 101 for first-time and experienced operators, and helps them learn the smoking process and our service model. We provide everything needed to make their operation somewhat turnkey.”
Mighty Quinn’s first franchisees were customers who loved the brand and had experience with existing hospitality businesses or were familiar with the restaurant industry landscape. Now, Magid notes, those who are interested in franchising include “passionate entrepreneurs” who want to bring the brand’s level of quality barbeque to their areas. The end result, he believes is that Mighty Quinn’s will become the go-to place for barbeque in franchisees’ regions.
“We became known first and foremost for great food – we got two-and-a-half stars in the New York Times in our first year – and our menu stays great irrespective of the fast-casual set up,” Magid says. “Our goal is to offer amazing barbeque in areas where it has historically been inaccessible and in that mission become the go-to place for this cuisine category.”
So far, most of the Mighty Quinn’s franchisees are located in the Northeast, but the company is working on finding operators on the West Coast and in the South so it can be more widespread. Additionally, Mangum will work with local franchisees to develop additional menu items that will resonate well in the region, remaining dedicated to delivering “amazing flavors” wherever it goes, Magid says.
“Every great operator is focused on quality in their specific cuisine category,” he says. “We deliver quality with barbeque cooked slow and low, and that is how we want people to experience the food. Allowing them to take a break from their fast-paced lives.”