Hickory River Smokehouse - Franchise

Quick Franchise Summary

A Fast-Casual concept that focuses on serving award winning “real Texas barbecue.” Our meat is smoked using hickory wood with our own proprietary rub; served fresh out of the smoker with our own famous BBQ sauce. Be a part of the Hickory River Smokehouse team and join the recent growth, with our proven concept in Fast-Casual restaurants.

*Please contact "Hickory River Smokehouse" to confirm the accuracy of any information provided on this page.

Hickory River Smokehouse
Business Cost, Fees & Facts for 2023

Minimum Cash Required $80,000
Total Investment $273,150
Year Founded 1995
# of Existing Units 6

Available In These States:

We are currently accepting inquiries in these states:
  • IL
  • IN
  • KY
  • MI
  • OH
  • Overview


Hickory River Smokehouse - Franchise

Our Brand
The Hickory River Smokehouse brand has been smoking real Texas barbecue since 1995. Brad Bowman and his wife Krista opened their first store in Urbana, Illinois. Within two years Brad and Krista had opened another store, and soon after were forced to move to a larger building to handle the demand. In 2000, Brad and Krista realized they had something special, real Texas barbecue, in the midwest. The demand for real Texas barbecue was so great, Hickory River saught out professional guidance to help start franchising.

Veteran Owned Means Veteran Discounts
Hickory River Smokehouse was started by Brad Bowman, a Marine Veteran. To show our appreciation, Veterans will receive a 10% discount on their initial franchise fee.

Professional Training
Because our success is dependent on our franchised stores, we take training very seriously. There is no limit to the amount of training you can request. Included in our initial training for the owners and their management team is classroom style training, position training, back office training, and in-store experience at our most successful stores.  We include 480 man hours of experienced management for your first weeks of grand opening. Everything from vendor setup, to back office closing will be covered until you are 100% ready.

The Bottom Line

                                           *Based on all current franchise operated stores   

  • 2013 Store Revenue Averages - $1.29 Million
  • 2014 Store Revenue Averages - $1.42 Million
  • 2015 Store Revenue Averages Projection - $1.57 Million (Quarterly Revenue up 12%)
  • Food + Labor Costs – Down 6.39% total in 2015
  • Net Profits – All stores showing growth over 2014 Net Profits

Facts and Figures

  • Initial Franchise Fee is $20,000. Initial franchise fee covers all corporate help with site selection, corporate expenses for franchisee training, guidance for all store setup, and 480 man hours for grand opening.

  • Royalties are 4% of revenue (lower than average fast-casual concepts)

  • Marketing fund is 3% of revenue (lower than average fast-casual concepts)

Marketing fund covers corporate marketing for your store. This includes but not limited to individual store websites, social media guidance, promotional material, monthly visits from operations manager, and any corporate advertisement for Hickory River Smokehouse.

What Hickory River Smokehouse Is Looking For
No restaurant ownership experience necessary.  Must be willing to take an already proven concept and follow the franchise training and franchise agreement operation rules to success. We will provide as much training as necessary to make every franchisee successful. 

The Future For BBQ
Combine the recent growth and success of fast-casual restaurant concepts with the popularity and increased sales of barbecue, and you have the latest and greatest concept on the market! There is a reason our Average Unit Volume is greater than most “sub” shops and other traditional fast-casual style restaurants. Be a part of the trend setters and help bring this new BBQ trend to the Midwest.

Why choose a franchise concept with only a couple revenue streams?

Hickory River Smokehouse has 6 revenue streams no matter what type of floor plan you choose. This is just part of the reason our Average Unit Volume is higher than other fast-casual chains of our size.

  1. Dine-in

  2. Carry-out/Call-ahead

  3. Group Delivery

  4. Catering/Hog-roast

  5. Drive-thru

  6. Concession Opportunities

Why Choose Hickory River
Hickory River Smokehouse is dedicated and focused on store-level success. With all stores being franchise operated, except one, you are our largest asset and most important part of our success. Not only have we proven our operations procedures keep our franchisees’ costs down, but we have grown in revenue by over 12% in 2015. You will have the privilege to sell the best smoked barbecue around and you get our recipe for restaurant success that is keeping our current franchisees happy.  

Take the next step now and request a free Hickory River Franchise Kit from our Director of Operations. Let us show you what we have to offer to make your franchise dream come true. The only way Hickory River Smokehouse is successful is by having successful franchisees.

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