Grocery deli prepared departments looking to up their smoked meats games are in luck.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit, the world’s largest BBQ chain, has partnered with Combo Kitchen to promote nationwide expansion of its brand through ghost kitchens.

The partnership creates an opportunity for experienced professionals to operate a Dickey's of their own utilizing Combo Kitchen's ghost kitchen franchise model, all while bringing the sweet and savory flavors of Texas barbecue to new neighborhoods across the country, according to the company.

The partnership also includes both Wing Boss and Big Deal Burgers, family brands of Dickey's Barbecue Pit.

"Partnering with Dickey's provides our franchisees with the opportunity to profit off of a proven and established brand that customers instantly recognize, unlike most ordinary ghost kitchens offering virtual brands" said Combo Kitchen CEO Hossein Kasmai. "With the need for brand recognition campaigns essentially eradicated, offering a brand like Dickey's as a virtual concept gives restaurant owners or investors the key ingredient to operating a successful ghost kitchen."

Combo Kitchen allows foodservice operators to select from a variety of established brands for placement in new or existing venues, offered for takeout and delivery only. Foodservice operators can take advantage of their kitchen space by adding established brands to their operations as ghost kitchens.

Operating entirely behind the scenes and without disruption of their typical operations, this allows them to instantly increase their venue's revenue. Investors without an existing operation can open a ghost kitchen from scratch featuring a variety of Combo Kitchen's network brands.

Since 1941, Dickey's has been serving up delicious, fall-off-the-bone barbecue, utilizing the same recipes the company perfected over 80 years ago. Known for Texas-style hickory slow smoked meats and a family-focused reputation, Dickey's has grown to become the leader in barbecue and an inspiration for fast-casual restaurants worldwide.

The market for food delivery has expanded rapidly in recent years, accentuated by the effects of COVID-19 on America's dining habits. Before the pandemic, the industry for ghost kitchens, dark kitchens, cloud kitchens and virtual kitchens was already flourishing, due largely in part to the convenience they provide to younger, more technology-savvy generations, according to Combo Kitchen.

In 2020, the trend that was ignited by the millennial mindset exploded into a new cultural norm due to government mandated shutdowns and the need for societal adjustments mid-pandemic. The global ghost kitchen industry is estimated to reach $1 trillion by 2030.

"Combo Kitchen is a unique franchising opportunity which allows us flexibility to enter new markets at a much lower build cost for operators," said Roland Dickey, Jr., CEO of Dickey's Capital Group. "Interest among new and existing franchisees combined with utilizing the convenience provided by Combo Kitchen, Dickey's can capitalize on the rapidly growing delivery market and add new ways to serve our guests Texas-style barbecue."

Combo Kitchen, recognized as one of the fastest-growing franchises and ghost kitchen concepts, has expanded exponentially to many states across the US. Dickeys boasts over 550 locations. With this partnership, Combo Kitchen expects to expand Dickey's by at least 100 more locations within the next year.


Sadler’s brings value-added to retail

Shoppers can enjoy Texas barbecue at home this summer with Austin, Minn.-based Sadler’s Smokehouse’s newest product line-up of ready-to-eat beef brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken and St. Louis ribs.

The new line of Sadler's Smokehouse products is pit-smoked low and slow for 16 to 18 hours, using butcher-quality cuts of meat, no artificial ingredients, Texas hardwoods and 65 years of family barbeque tradition. 

"First and foremost, these products come already prepared in the tradition of real Texas barbeque, giving home barbeque enthusiasts and cooks the freedom to enjoy more time together while experiencing the taste of authentic pit-smoked barbeque," said Justin Robinson, vice president of marketing at Sadler's Smokehouse. "Our pit masters are experts in barbeque, monitoring our pits to achieve a premium-quality product. They take the work out of strenuousness barbeque planning without sacrificing quality and taste."  

The ready-to-eat products retail at $9.99 for pulled pork and pulled chicken, $9.99 per pound for St. Louis ribs and $15.99 per pound for beef brisket. 


New Reynolds product tailored for smoked meat production

Lake Forest, Ill.-based Reynolds Kitchens, makers of trusted household products like Reynolds Kitchens Parchment Paper with SmartGrid and Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liners, is excited to announce the nationwide launch of new Reynolds Kitchens Pink Butcher Paper with Slide Cutter — perfect for smoked meat production in instore deli prepared departments.

“Created with both seasoned pitmasters and everyday meat smoking enthusiasts in mind, Reynolds Kitchens Pink Butcher Paper is a high-quality, FDA-compliant butcher paper that protects the crisp bark that all meat smoking enthusiasts work hard to achieve, while sealing in moisture for tender, juicy smoked meats,” according to Reynolds. “It’s a total game-changer in the meat smoking process. Unlike any other butcher paper on the market, it has an easy-to-use slide cutter attached to a sturdy dispenser box for quick handling and smooth, clean cuts.”

Unbleached and unwaxed, Reynolds Kitchens Pink Butcher Paper is designed for cooking low and slow. The 40- lb. strong butcher paper is resistant to leaks and tears. It's also great for serving smoked feasts on, just like barbecue restaurants.

"Reynolds Kitchens is dedicated to finding better solutions for all types of cooking, both indoors and outdoors," said Danielle Chandler, vice president of marketing for Reynolds Consumer Products. "We know smoking meat is a passion for many. We wanted to create a signature tool that makes the overall experience of smoking delicious meats easier."