Shane Thompson hung on to his grandfather’s advice: “Do what you love, and do it better than anyone else.” Thompson’s restaurant, Shane’s Rib Shack, has been racking up multiple “Best BBQ” accolades since 2002, thanks to its signature hickory-smoked ribs, hand-chopped pork and a variety of Southern sides. Thompson says the chain’s continued growth strategy involves targeting multi-unit operators, because of their resources and access to capital. Shane’s also plans to work toward developing a specialized lending program to provide franchisees with easier access to financing.

LocationAtlanta, Ga.
2010 Systemwide Sales$48,300,000
% Change in Sales0.5%
2010 U.S. Units68
% Change in Units9.7%
2010 Average Unit Volume$740,000
% Change in AUV1.2%
Future 50 Year2011