The Famous Dave’s barbecue chain revealed last week that it plans to develop a delivery-only format to capitalize on the off-premise sales boom, a popular strategy these days among casual-dining chains. Red Robin, for instance, now has five delivery-only units open, and two concepts in Bloomin’ Brands portfolio, Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba's Italian Grill, are collaborating on eight delivery-and-takeout-only combo units.
An interview with Famous Dave’s COO Geovannie Concepcion provided additional details about what the chain’s new venture might be like. Here’s what he divulged.
RB: What name will be used for the delivery-only outlets?
Concepcion: The name of the new locations will remain Famous Dave’s BBQ.
Q: Will it indeed be delivery-only, i.e., no takeout as well as no dine-in service?
A: We are looking at reducing some large footprint stores to counter service, with smaller dine-in footprints and delivery-only models. The function of the restaurant will depend on the market and the available real estate.
Q: Will the menu be the same as the one in a conventional Famous Dave’s?
A: No, the menu will be more limited. Guests can expect to see 25% to 40% of the full menu, depending on the market.
Q: What service will be providing the delivery aspect?
A: We have national agreements with Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash and Amazon. We will also work on a regional basis with smaller providers.
Q: Will all the delivery be done by a third-party, or will self-delivery be tested too?
A: We will do self-delivery on catering, and will test self-delivery in some more rural markets.
Q: Will alcohol beverages be delivered along with the food?
A: Not at this time.
Q: How many people will it employ versus the staff of a conventional Famous Dave’s?
A: This is dependent on sales. Generally with this volume we can anticipate 25% of the normal staff.
Q. What is the construction cost, and how does it compare to the cost of a full-sized unit?
A. This is market-dependent. For delivery-only, construction costs are significantly lower than our normal build outs, ranging from $300,000 to $750,000, versus $1.2 million to $1.8 million [for a conventional unit.] We are also looking at shared kitchen space with minimal initial investment.