Buoyed by a minority investment from Bolt Ventures earlier this summer, fast casual Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque is getting ready to grow on several fronts.
The New York City-based BBQ concept, which currently has eight restaurants and two stadium locations, is making plans to add corporate and franchised units, as well as to expand its consumer packaged goods line.
Mighty Quinn’s opened its first restaurant in New York City’s East Village in 2012, after one of the founders started selling smoked meat from a mobile smoker at a market in Brooklyn and developed a following.
The restaurant garnered a front-page review in the New York Times dining section, as well as accolades from Zagat, and started to grow from there.
“We leveraged that great momentum,” CEO Micha Magid said.
Magid declined to say how much money investment firm Bolt Ventures had provided Mighty Quinn’s.
The chain started franchising in 2018. Five franchised units are slated to open by the end of next year, including the concept’s first drive-thru.
Rather than having a smoker and pit master at every location, Magid said, Mighty Quinn’s is using a hub-and-spoke model, with production centralized in one location and then distributed to nearby restaurants.
This will allow the chain to look at more stadium locations, as well as office buildings and ghost kitchen facilities with small footprints, he said.
Currently, Mighty Quinn’s doesn’t sell out of ghost kitchens—but it has launched a chicken wing-crispy chicken sandwich ghost kitchen concept called Sugar Wing by MQ. And it has resurrected Otto’s Tacos, a brick-and-mortar concept that shuttered during the pandemic, as a virtual brand that’s prepared out of one of its kitchens.
Inside its restaurants, Mighty Quinn’s serves beer and wine, and some franchisees are launching craft cocktail menus.
“It’s evolving market to market,” Magid said.
The chain’s core menu has stayed fairly consistent since its first restaurant opened, though it has added a crispy chicken sandwich, but the side offerings have been reworked a bit.
Cornbread is a recent addition. And, during the pandemic, Mighty Quinn’s moved away from limited-time offerings to prepared feasts for certain occasions, such as a smoked turkey meal for Thanksgiving.
Mighty Quinn’s started its packaged goods line with bottled barbecue sauce and is now about to launch two dry rub spice blends, he said.
“Barbecue sauce is a competitive market,” Magid said. “We started locally and we’ve seen great reorder rates. We’re pleasantly surprised.”
Next up is packaged meats for the refrigerated grocery section, all smoked and cryovacced.
“We’ve been selling our food through mail order on Goldbelly,” he said. “That’s a frozen product we sell one-day or two-day air. We’re taking that same product and just doing a refrigerated version instead of frozen. We know this food reheats very well.”