Woody’s Bar-B-Q® Prepares to Fire Up the Grill in the Volunteer State

Newest Franchise Signing Marks the Southern Barbecue Company’s One and Only Location in Tennessee, With More to Follow

March 04, 2013 // Franchising.com // Jacksonville, Florida – Tennessee, home to Memphis’ renowned dry rub ribs and chopped pork on a bun, is about to get a taste of something new. Authentic Southern barbecue franchise – Woody’s Bar-B-Q® – has signed a new franchisee, marking the national chain’s one and only restaurant in the Volunteer State. Up-and-coming operator, Lea Keisling and her fiancé, Neil Johnston will be opening a Woody’s Bar-B-Q restaurant in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in Summer 2013.

“Lea and Neil will be excellent operators,” says Tra Williams, Woody’s VP of Franchise Development. “Lea’s a lifelong Murfreesboro resident with lots of vision, and Neil has a great big personality that will be well-received by patrons. We’re excited that they will be helping us introduce Woody’s Bar-B-Q to a whole new slew of barbecue fans in their city. Tennessee is a natural fit for us, and we’ve been eyeing the Middle Tennessee and Upper Cumberland areas for some time. Eventually, we hope to expand into places like Spring Hill, Mount Juliet, and Cookeville. We believe their citizens will be very receptive to the incredible flavor of our slow-cooked meats, signature sauces, and comfort food sides.”

The new Murfreesboro Woody’s Bar-B-Q restaurant is inspired by the Florida-based chain’s success in barbeque regions of the United States. Keisling hopes to locate the restaurant within a two mile radius of the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center and Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). Boasting an enrollment of more than 20,000, she believes MTSU students will be drawn to the great food, home-like atmosphere and reasonable prices of Woody’s Bar-B-Q.

“Murfreesboro is a terrific city that has its fair share of restaurants,” explains Keisling. “But what we’re lacking is a great place to sit down and enjoy a heaping plate of delicious barbecue and home-style sides. I love to cook and have always wanted to own my own restaurant. I was really impressed by the story behind Woody’s Bar-B-Q – that they’ve been in business for more than 30 years and they’re still using many of the same original recipes. As soon as I tasted the food, I knew I wanted to open a Woody’s Bar-B-Q restaurant. I know we will be well-received in my hometown and can’t wait to open our doors.”

Once open, Keisling looks forward to her new restaurant becoming a valued institution in the community. Both she and Johnston are already active in the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. Not wishing to be absentee owners, the couple will be at the restaurant full-time. Even Keisling’s 10-year-old son, Michael, will be a regular fixture at the Murfreesboro Woody’s Bar-B-Q.

“We want everyone to know that we’re a family-owned business and not just some fast food restaurant that wants you in and out,” insists Keisling. “We will strive to be a fun, family-friendly place where the citizens of Murfreesboro know they can come for a really great meal.”

Other prospective franchisees who wish to bring Woody’s Bar-B-Q to their own hometown are encouraged to visit the national chain’s website at http://www.woodys.com and click on the franchise page to download the brochure. To begin a discussion about opening a Woody’s Bar-B-Q Express or traditional Woody’s Bar-B-Q Restaurant, Tra Williams can be reached via phone at 904-992-0594 ext. 36 or via e-mail at tra@woodysbarbq.com.

About Woody’s Bar-B-Q®

After opening their first Woody’s Bar-B-Q in 1980, partners Woody Mills and Yolanda Mills-Mawman have spent the past three decades setting the “bar” higher for great Southern Bar-B-Q. From the humble beginnings of just one location in Jacksonville, Florida, a shared passion for Bar-B-Q, and a dog-eared collection of recipes, Mills and Mawman have grown the Woody’s Bar-B-Q brand to locations reaching from the Deep South where Bar-B-Q is king to the Northeast and Western fronts. Perhaps best known for their legendary melt-in-your-mouth slow-smoked Signature Baby Back Ribs, Woody’s has also built quite a following among patrons with their secret recipe Bar-B-Q sauces and meats, as well as their freshly prepared side dishes. For more information and a list of locations, visit http://www.woodys.com. To learn more about becoming a Woody’s Bar-B-Q franchisee, visit http://www.woodys.com/franchise/.

SOURCE Woody’s Bar-B-Q


Tammy Poudrier
Director of Marketing
Woody's Bar-B-Q
904-992-0556 ex 30




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