DICKEY’S Franchise Owners: Tell DBRI Your Biggest Concerns, Anonymously

Dickey’s franchise owners:  Do you have complaints or urgent issues with your franchisor but are hesitant to share, lest you get branded a troublemaker or whiner?  Or do you have important complaints that you have voiced to you FD and/or home office staff, only to feel that it falls on deaf ears?  Confidentially tell us (via email of in the comment section below) what you’d like DBRI to know, and we will include your views in a compilation letter (or letters) to senior executives of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  We have received many, many complaints from Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise owners about a variety of issues threatening their livelihoods and ability to maintain their Dickey’s restaurants.

Dickey's Barbecue PitMany of these individual franchisee share the same or similar complaints regarding problems they’ve encountered with changing suppliers,  complaints regarding the new menu and menu changes, complaints regarding inadequate marketing support and management’s refusal to share required marketing fund information, and complaints about legal threats atoward and bullying of failed and failing franchise owners.

Dickey’s franchise owners have expressed a desire to share these issues with franchisor Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. (DBRI) but are afraid that they might get branded as troublemakers, or be singled out for retaliation.

 

Introducing the LETTERS TO DICKEY’S Project.

You tell us.  We tell Dickey’s Management.

So we are inviting Dickey’s franchise owners to share their thoughts, opinions, gripes and suggestions with us on a 100% CONFIDENTIAL basis.

We will compile the most prevalent opinions and requests into a letter (or letters) and submit them to DBRI’s senior management.

No franchisee names will be disclosed.

So submit your thoughts all at once or one subject at a time by posting in the comments section below or emailing ADMIN at UnhappyFranchisee[at]Gmail.Com

Here are some of the subjects that seems to have generated the most comment thus far:

Dickey’s Supplier & Transition Issues

DICKEY’S Franchise Issues: Switch from U.S. Foods to SYSCO

Transition from U.S. Foods to Sysco

See what other Dickey’s franchisees are saying:

DICKEY’S Franchise Issues: Switch from U.S. Foods to SYSCO

What would you like Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc. to know about how the transition has affected you and your business, for better or worse?

What changes would you like to ask DBRI to make in this area in in 2017?

 

Transition from OLO online ordering system to NCR Aloha Take Out ATO/Spark Intelligence 

See what other Dickey’s franchisees are saying:

DICKEY’S Franchise Issues: Online Ordering

DBRI has said that the the decision to not renew with OLO was to save Dickey’s franchisees money and keep them from having to sign a long-term contract with the vendor.

What would you like Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc. to know about how this change has affected you and your business, for better or worse?

What changes would you like to ask DBRI to make in this area in in 2017?

 

Other Dickey’s Supplier & Transition Issues

What other supplier and vendor transition issues affect you as a Dickey’s franchisee?

How could DBRI improve in this area?

Tell us what you’d like Dickey’s executives to know about how supplier changes and transitions affect you and your business.  Leave a comment or comments below or send a confidential email to UnhappyFranchisee[as]Gmail.Com.  We’ll include your anonymous views in our Letters to Dickeys.

See some of the input we’ve received on Dickey’s Supplier & Transition Issues Here:

 

Dickey’s New Menu & Menu Management Issues

See what other Dickey’s franchisees are saying:

DICKEY’S Franchise Issues: Menu Management

Menu selection and menu item offerings have a tremendous impact on any restaurant’s top & bottom lines.

In 2016, Dickey’s made some dramatic changes to its menu line-up.

It also introduced its new, stripped down G4 store design.

Franchisees:  What would you like Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc. to know about how the transition has affected you and your business, for better or worse?

Have you seen the benefits to customer satisfaction and sales that were the expressed reason for these changes?

What changes would you like to ask DBRI to make in this area in in 2017?

 

Tell us what you’d like Dickey’s executives to know about how the new menu and store design changes affect you and your business.  Leave a comment or comments below or send a confidential email to UnhappyFranchisee[as]Gmail.Com.  We’ll include your anonymous views in our Letters to Dickeys.

 

Dickey’s Marketing and Sales Building Support

See what other Dickey’s franchisees are saying:

DICKEY’S Franchise Issues: Marketing

Are you happy with the marketing support you are receiving from DBRI?

Express your views on these and/or other marketing topics:

  • DBRI’s withholding of the audited accounting of the franchisee’s marketing fund
  • DBRI’s communication of its overall marketing strategy
  • Effectiveness of Dickey’s market-specific support
  • Whether Dickey’s should continue collecting 4% or rebate 3% to franchisees to spend in their local markets
  • Effectiveness of Dickey’s marketing materials being provided
  • Other marketing issues

Tell us what you’d like Dickey’s executives to know about how their current marketing affect your restaurant sales, and what improvements you’d like to see in 2017.  Leave a comment or comments below or send a confidential email to UnhappyFranchisee[as]Gmail.Com.  We’ll include your anonymous views in our Letters to Dickeys.

 

Dickey’s Threats, Bullying & Churning Franchisees

DICKEY’s Franchise Issues: Threats, Bullying & Churning of Franchisees

We receive complaints that DBRI is not proactive in helping struggling franchise owners and failing stores.

However, we’ve seen that they are very aggressive in threatening legal action and often demand hundreds of thousands in liquidated damages from franchisees who did their best and failed.

We’ve also received complaints that DBRI is very aggressive in putting new store owners into failed stores without determining or addressing the issues that may have led to previous failures of the same location.

Share your thoughts on DBRI’s treatment of failed and failing store owners with a comment below or a confidential email to UnhappyFranchisee[as]Gmail.Com.

 

Dickey’s Collection and Use of Vendor Rebates and Mark-Ups

In the Fiscal Year ending May 31, 2016, Dickey’s and its affiliates received about $25,000,000 in the form of mark-ups, rebates etc. according to its Franchise Disclosure Document, Item 8.

$15,407,160  is the amount affiliate Wycliff received in 2016 from indirect purchases by franchisees of certain paper and food products.

$369,615 is the amount Spark Intelligence, Inc. received from the subscription fees paid by franchisees for use of the Smokestack sales reporting system.

$9,000,319 in sales incentives and payments from vendors paid to Dickey’s and its affiliates*

_____________

$24,777.094

Do you have opinions or thoughts on vendor rebates that you’d like to share with DBRI executives?

Do you believe that high COGs may be related to the inflation of prices to franchisees to accommodate rebates to DBRI?

Do you feel that some or all of these rebates should be passed back to franchisees – or at least be used in ways that directly raise sales or lower costs?

Share your thoughts on DBRI rebates and mark-ups with a comment below or a confidential email to UnhappyFranchisee[as]Gmail.Com.

 

*The $9 million paid to DBRI or its affiliates comes from rebates on franchisee purchases of:

(1) food and beverage items, paper goods and cleaning products: either 

(i) a flat amount per pound or case (or other specified measure) purchased by Dickey’s franchisees or 

(ii) a percentage of the supplier’s total sales to Dickey’s franchisees; 

(2) credit card processing services: a flat amount per credit card transaction processed; 

(3) firewood: a flat amount per case purchased; 

(4) Restaurant equipment: a percentage of the supplier’s total sales to Dickey’s

franchisees; and 

(5) insurance: a percentage of the insurance broker’s commission realized on each policy purchased by Dickey’s franchisees.

Also read:

Letter to DICKEY’S President Renee Roozen re: Withheld Marketing Report

DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT Closed Location List

DICKEY’S Franchise Owners Share Frustrations & Fears

DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT Franchise Complaints

DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT Makes a Terrible Promotion Worse

Dickey’s “The Middle” Family Reunion Sweepstakes Contest Details

Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc. Threatening to Sue U.S. Army Veteran

ARE YOU A DICKEY’S FRANCHISE OWNER?    PLEASE SHARE A COMMENT, OPINION OR REQUEST WITH DBRI.  COMMENT BELOW OR EMAIL IN CONFIDENCE TO UNHAPPYFRANCHISEE[AT]GMAIL.COM

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Dickey’s franchise owners, Dickey’s Franchisees, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Restaurants Inc., DBRI Inc, Renee Roozen, Dickey’s Renee Roozen, President Renee Roozen, Dickey’s marketing fund, franchisee marketing fund, systemwide franchise marketing fund, franchise ad fund report,  Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise, Dickey’s franchise, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise complaints, Roland Dickey Jr, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit marketing, barbecue franchise, barbeque franchise, BBQ franchise,

8 thoughts on “DICKEY’S Franchise Owners: Tell DBRI Your Biggest Concerns, Anonymously

  • January 23, 2017 at 5:25 pm
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    What would you like Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc. to know about how the transition has affected you and your business, for better or worse?

    We were lead to believe that we would have credit terms. For us Sysco continued to deliver for three weeks(two of those weeks we were still paying US Foods) before they notified us that we needed to have a ZERO balance before they would deliver another truck. For Franchisees who are already struggling with cash flow to come up with WEEKS of truck bills with HIGHER prices was a killer for all of us.

    What changes would you like to ask DBRI to make in this area in in 2017?

    Offer Credit terms that were promised from the beginning, they should be similar to what owners had PRIOR to UsF. Some owners had up to 21 days! To go from that to ZERO is ridiculous. Stop the mark ups! Our pricing is supposed to be BETTER then the consumer, but, yet I can go to any local meat market and get better pricing then we are offered!

    Transition from OLO online ordering system to ATO/Sparks (Aloha)

    OLO or ATO should not be forced on anyone. It has always been an optional system PER our FA’s. This is just another stream of Revenue for DBRI to screw over owners.

    What would you like Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc. to know about how this change has affected you and your business, for better or worse?

    OLO has never been a revenue stream for us. We paid $99 a month and barely made $1000 each month, factor in labor and food costs, CC fees and sales tax and we literally make no money on an order. It shouldnt be required or forced upon owners.

    What changes would you like to ask DBRI to make in this area in in 2017?

    Make this an option to owners. Go back to OLO where a receipt is printed and customers have to pay in advance.

    Other Dickey’s Supplier & Transition Issues

    What other supplier and vendor transition issues affect you as a Dickey’s franchisee?

    Sysco had a huge effect on us. Menu changing had a huge impact on us. No one in our area wants sliders or tacos. They dont come to a BBQ restaurant for that. Getting rid of the DOTD was huge, and breaking up the plates. We saw a drop in regular customers because they were too confused by the menus.

    How could DBRI improve in this area?

    Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken! People NEED and want consistancy.

    Tell us what you’d like Dickey’s executives to know about how supplier changes and transitions affect you and your business.

    You cannot make changes that effect thousands (Yes thousands when you factor in families) without consulting them first. No one wanted the vendor change, no one wanted tacos, no one wanted new menus, no one wanted the change in marketing. We went from Sub par marketing to literally no marketing in our area. DBRI asking us to spend 2% of our OWN money when there is a decrease in sales is laughable. I cannot spend money I dont have!

    Franchisees: What would you like Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc. to know about how the transition has affected you and your business, for better or worse?

    Everything is test marketed in the Dallas Area, just because it passes there does not mean everyone EVERYWHERE is going to like it.

    Have you seen the benefits to customer satisfaction and sales that were the expressed reason for these changes?

    No one likes the changes. They find it confusing (Especially older people)

    What changes would you like to ask DBRI to make in this area in in 2017?
    Keep things the way they were.

    Tell us what you’d like Dickey’s executives to know about how the new menu and store design changes affect you and your business.

    The lack of marketing and then the new menu on top has cut our in store traffic in half. People no longer want to come to a fast casual restaurant where they used to spend 20-30 minutes eating and are now spending 20-30 minutes trying to figure out how to get what they had before.

    Dickey’s Marketing and Sales Building Support
    Are you happy with the marketing support you are receiving from DBRI?

    There is no marketing support, Not a single person works there in marketing longer then a year. We used to have control over what we spent our money on, now you get what you get with it, and if your lucky it’s something because a lot of people get nothing.

    Express your views on these and/or other marketing topics:

    A brand like this needs top of mind awareness, you need to be on the radio when people are driving to or from work. Every owner should have a radio contract. Billboards, every owner who is near a highway should be on a billboard or tourist sign if the state has them. DOT signs are cheap,

    Tell us what you’d like Dickey’s executives to know about how their current marketing affect your restaurant sales, and what improvements you’d like to see in 2017.

    DBRI needs to be more forthcoming on the expenditures, if your spending money truly where its supposed to be spent then it shouldnt be so hard to provide an accounting of it. PER their own FA they state one is prepared Annually therefore these should already be printed and available to owners per their request. If all marketing is accurate and the same there shouldn’t be a protocol for them to be so secretive. Why cant i share the National Budget with others? If your sending them the same budget? Unless your hiding something!!

  • January 25, 2017 at 11:20 am
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    Renee Roozen sent out this message in The Morning Que, which is DBRI’s email blast to franchisees

    “Letter from the President

    “Has it been two weeks already since the last letter from the President? I guess so. In a recent conversation with one of our O/Os, I was “accused” of being too optimistic. Of course, I disagreed; who wouldn’t? The speaker meant it as an insult. But, after that initial conversation I continued to reflect on the conversation and I still disagree. I refuse to let others bring me down. I refuse to allow others to dictate how I should respond to a situation. I am an adult who can make my own choices. I love Dickey’s! I believe in the brand and I appreciate all of the differing opinions that make up humanity.

    “I ask each of you….why did you buy your Dickey’s? Why did you choose to get into the restaurant business? Think about that and remember the excitement. That should still be there. Nothing has changed. Some of you got into Dickey’s because of the great quality food; we still have that. Some of you got into Dickey’s because you wanted to interact with people; we still do that. Some of you chose Dickey’s because we are a family business and we are still that. There are probably a thousand different reasons why you chose to open a Dickey’s and those haven’t changed!

    “Do we have our challenges? Of course we do; so does every person and every company. We are human. Each of us has good days and bad days. None of us are perfect but I believe in the good of people, I believe in the concept of best intent.

    “This week I have had the opportunity to participate in three different RAAC meetings which means hearing from many different O/Os from across the country whom I have not yet met. I also spoke to many of you through the transition from OLO to ATO. Has that transition been as smooth as we would like? Nope. Is that because of negative intent? Nope.

    “Online ordering is a growing business segment; not only at Dickey’s but in the world at large. OLO wanted to increase prices without increasing functionality, OLO wanted to lock each of you into a 5 year contract. We were not going to agree to that. So, we changed vendors. We changed vendors quickly. In the process of that change, we ran into challenges for some of your stores. Not all of your stores by any means. Does that make it better for those that did run into challenges? No, of course not. But, does it change the fact that it was the right decision? No, it doesn’t.

    “I promised each of you more communication, more transparency. Have you gotten that? Yes! Not only through this forum, but you have also gotten status updates through email when there were challenges during the online ordering transition.

    “We will have the expanded menu panels available soon that is in response to the requests of many of you. I committed to listening more and we are. I also committed to working through initiatives so you’d have better packaged rollouts, that is why these aren’t already in your stores; because we slowed it down to make sure we had it fully vetted. This is progress and I am proud of that progress.

    “Thursday, we host our first NOCC meeting; and I can’t wait! Partnerships with our O/Os is a topic of passion on which I will never waver. I believe in the brand and I believe in my commitments to you. So, for those of you that choose to think that optimism is an insult, bring it on! I will take that insult each and every day!”

    From President Renee Roozen

  • January 25, 2017 at 12:48 pm
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    I bought a Dickey’s because I wanted a BARBECUE restaurant, not a pseudo-Mexican food stall that peddles $2 tacos and $1 sliders!!!

  • January 25, 2017 at 12:51 pm
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    I’m tired of fake/false optimism, what I want is contrition and an acknowledgement that Corporate has made huge blunders in the last year. I want an apology from Corporate and I want some money back for their totally avoidable mistakes!

  • January 25, 2017 at 12:56 pm
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    You don’t have “challenges” you have arrogant and incompetent people who make life changing decisions for all the O/O’s out there without asking if we want or need these changes. If you make a decision that turns out to be a royal disaster there should be material consequences for Corporate and the people responsible. That’s what I want to hear from the President, not some meaningless, out of touch, impersonal memo from someone who’s never walked in my shoes.

  • January 25, 2017 at 12:58 pm
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    Just because you are new to an organization doesn’t mean you have to make changes just for the sake of “marking your territory”: IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT!

  • January 25, 2017 at 2:11 pm
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    after the sweet note from RR, I see the BYCC blast saying my store is giving away a pound of meat with every XL family pack this weekend. FYI – I have the emails acknowledging I opted out and confirmed it would not run it for my store. But there it is! This error happens over and over again. Always their errors are against the franchisees bottom line and boost meat purchases to generate markup and rebate money back to RDJ.

  • January 25, 2017 at 2:46 pm
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    Ms. Roozen’s letter is really disturbing in a lot of ways. If she reads these comments, I hope she’ll take this constructive criticism and start addressing franchisee concerns with the appropriate seriousness and start addressing franchisees as intelligent business owners who have invested serious capital to build the chain DBRI loves to take credit for.

    First, the tone is that of a kindergarten teacher speaking to her pupils on the first day.

    The question and answer format is really condescending.

    Do we continue to make major decisions that affect your livelihood without getting your input?
    Yes we do.
    Do these poorly conceived decisions cost you money and endless aggravation.
    Yes they do.
    Do we treat our major mistakes as “nobody’s perfect,” and franchisee infractions as grounds for a lawsuit?
    Yes we do.

    The next minute she sounds like one of the pupils saying “You’re not the boss of me!”

    “I refuse to let others bring me down. I refuse to allow others to dictate how I should respond to a situation. I am an adult who can make my own choices.”

    Did the President of a company really write “I am an adult who can make my own choices.”?

    Most disturbing is the underlying message.

    Ms. Roozen seems to be saying that identifying problems to be solved = negativity & pessimism.

    She seems to be saying that calling for improvements that might stop the widespread store failures across the country = not believing in the brand, and hate for dickey’s.

    When faced with problems that could lead to the collapse of the chain, her response is “I love Dickey’s! I believe in the brand and I appreciate all of the differing opinions that make up humanity.”

    If she loves Dickey’s, she should start listening to the franchisees who own nearly 100% of the stores in the system and stop addressing franchisees as if she’s is free to make all of the big girl choices Roland Jr. tells her to.

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