QSR Magazine Names Smokey Mo’s to the 40/40 List of Hottest Fast Casual Startups for 2023
Smokey Mo's BBQ is selected for a list of the nation's hottest top 40 fast casual restaurants with fewer than 40 units as the only BBQ restaurant selected for this honor.
Smokey Mo’s BBQ
Headquarters: Cedar Park, Texas
Smokey Mo’s BBQ offers its Texas style throughout the central part of the state, including low and slow-cooked brisket, which is smoked in-house for 10-14 hours each day at every location. A notable differentiation is that all stores have a trained pitmaster who’s an expert in the art of smoking, slicing, and serving meat, giving each restaurant a particular taste.
At the start of COVID, when everything was shut down, Smokey Mo’s was forced to lay off 40 percent of its staff. However, the fast casual was able to bring these jobs back within weeks. In fact, throughout the pandemic, the brand maintained nearly full staffing and amplified its catering, third-party delivery, and takeout channels to meet the needs of customers.
In January, the Texas chain announced it was purchased by private equity firm Switchback Capital. The company intends to help the restaurant debut 32 locations in the next three years and unveil a new brand look. CEO Craig Haley said the updated design streamlines operations, provides an open view of smokers, and develops clearer pathways for preparing and delivering food to guests during peak hours.