Frequently Asked Questions

We're sure you'll have questions. Lot's of them. So, we compiled a list of the more common questions we're often asked. Feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have to help you decide if a Hickory River Smokehouse franchise is right for you.

Do I need to have any prior experience in running a restaurant?

No, you don’t need any prior experience in the restaurant industry to be a successful Hickory River Smokehouse owner. In fact, we have often felt that knowing too much gets in the way. Regardless, Hickory River Smokehouse offers an extended Discovery Week where you can actually shadow one of our company-owned locations. This offer is made to financially qualified candidates who have signed all non-disclosure documents. You will still be expected to attend the full training program once you sign a franchise document.

Does Hickory River Smokehouse offer financing?

We don’t provide direct financing, but we do have a relationship with a finance facilitator that works off of a candidate’s credit score. We will put you in contact with them if you would like to investigate the lending programs that may be available to you.

Does Hickory River Smokehouse offer a multi-unit franchise opportunity?

Certainly our business model is built on taking advantage of a multi-unit opportunity. Once you have the first store open and running smoothly, we want to afford you the flexibility to open multiple locations and have complete control of your territory if it makes sense to our overall expansion plans. You are provided a protected territory as part of your franchise agreement, and we can discuss a master area development agreement during our conversations.

What is the initial franchise fee and ongoing royalty fee?

The initial franchisee fee is $20,000. Royalty Fees are 4% of gross revenues. The ongoing marketing fees are 3% per month.

How long will I be at training and what can I expect to learn?

Our initial training program consists of approximately four weeks of online, classroom and on-site training at a designated Hickory River Smokehouse location. We suggest that you, your general manager, and at least two additional employees attend and complete our initial training program. In addition, one of our representatives will be at your site for up to 14 days (to be scheduled around your opening). Your training program will be intensive and includes operations training, affiliate marketing and sales training, POP sales training, and POS systems training.

Will you assist me with establishing my vendor relationships and initial inventory purchase?

Yes. Our team will work side by side with you to ensure that you maximize your initial inventory purchase with projected sales based on our broad experience of opening new stores in various markets.

Do you assist in finding the best location for a restaurant like Hickory River Smokehouse?

We have significant data on the demographic characteristics of our existing customers. We know how far they travel, what their median household income looks like, ethnic makeup, and we understand the general location requirements that give you the best chance for success. Our team will evaluate locations as you provide them to us. In the end, the choice of location is yours, but we would like to have significant input in the process.

How long will it take me to open once I have signed a franchise agreement?

Your first location will generally open within 6 months of signing your agreement. If your location has already been identified, the time to open can be reduced considerably.

Will you help me with my initial marketing strategy and grand opening?

Yes. We will assist you with all aspects of your opening, and we will be in attendance. As well, if needed, our advertising agency can work with you to develop a customized marketing strategy to promote your opening in your local market. While the elements of the Grand Opening will ultimately be in your hands, we will provide you with GO guidelines and suggestions to follow; all structured for you to maximize local press opportunities and introduce the business model to the community.

Social media is really big right now. Do you have a policy as to what I can and cannot do?

We do not have a formal policy. We expect each owner to monitor their own social media practices, and to follow the lead of what is done corporately. We believe social media is an incredibly important marketing tool, and we continue to refine our outreach. As we do, all best practices are turned over to the franchisee.