Of BBQ and Continuous Improvement


Over the weekend my brother-in-law took me out to my favorite BBQ joint in Colorado.  It was a welcome surprise during a day of Jeeping in Colorado’s Rampart Range.  We dropped out of the mountains to visit Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q.

Folks that know me will know that I am a bit of a BBQ aficionado…ok snob is the right word here, but I’ll go with aficionado.  I’ve tended a smoke box for 18+ hours to slow cook a brisket to perfection using pecan wood harvested from our property in Oklahoma.  I am very particular in my approach to BBQ. I'm also very happy to see successful BBQ restaurants.  The restaurant business is notoriously difficult to be successful in.

Rudy’s is a gem located at the corner of 31st St and Hwy 24 between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs.   IMHO Rudy’s is the best Texas style (i.e. beef) BBQ you can get in my home state.  Any BBQ joint in Colorado that wishes to challenge them can contact me directly…I’ll gladly sample your offering.

For folks that are really into brisket, I’d put Rudy’s on par with Hard Eight.  I’d love to see Hard Eight expand outside of Texas…I think Monument, CO would be a wonderful spot to put one since it is so close to my house. 

BBQ banter aside I did make a couple of observations while I was there. 

1.       The wait to order was about 45 minutes.  Thankfully they had staff walking the line with samples. 

2.       The inside was busy but not as packed as you’d expect given the 45-minute wait.

I have no doubt that Rudy’s is rolling in profits.  We’d love to visit more often.  We’d like to take the family here when they visit from out of town, but the wait is almost always this long or longer. 

For the sake of argument, I’ll assume that the goal of this establishment is to make as much profit as possible.  I’ll also assume that the restaurant is not using a long wait as a marketing ploy.  People are more likely to tweet, “Waited 45 minutes to get BBQ at Rudy’s #WorthIt” than they are to tweet “Waited 45 minutes to get BBQ at Rudy’s #DryPorkLoin.”

Given those assumptions and the stated facts then it would behoove Rudy’s to cut the customer’s wait time.  If customers are trying to give you money you don’t get in their way. 

To put it a bit more analytically profit is a function of Revenue per hour–Cost per hour–Material cost.

A continuous improvement project with some moderate analytics could yield a substantial boost in profits for Rudy’s.  Let’s clean up the flow and watch profits soar.

I would love to speak with you about how continuous improvement could benefit the owners, employees, and customers in your company.  Send me an e-mail at Attila@Dobai.com or visit Dobai.com to connect.

FULL DISCLAIMER: I do not, nor have I ever, worked with or consulted for Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q or Hard Eight.  I have no endorsement deals with them.  However…if either is watching…I’d love to work with you!  ;P