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Founder’s son, former CEO visits Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Lebanon

Jacob Smith • Oct 25, 2017 at 2:10 PM

Roland Dickey, son of restaurant founder Travis Dickey and former CEO, visited Dickey’s Barbecue Pit on Wednesday in Lebanon.

Dickey handed out signed copies of his cookbook, “Mr. Dickey’s Barbecue Cookbook: Recipes from a True Texas Pit Master” to the first 50 customers Wednesday.

Travis Dickey founded Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in 1941 and ran the restaurant until he died in 1967, at which point Roland Dickey left Southern Methodist University to take over the business.

Roland Dickey, with his brother, T.D. Dickey, took the single barbecue stand his father had built and expanded throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In 1994, he sold the first franchise to the Smith family, who are currently franchisees.

Roland Dickey Sr. ran the restaurant until 2006, when he passed ownership on to his son, Roland Dickey Jr.

Roland Dickey Sr. published his cookbook in 2012 and now travels the country, visiting owner/operators and holding appreciation events and making special appearances on local radio and television shows.

Tricia and Ron Burkett opened the Lebanon Dickey’s on Oct. 5 after seeing the success the restaurant had across the country.

“I kept seeing these Dickey’s open, and their were lines out the door,” said Ron. “I found the food was good. I mean they really have good food.”

Tricia held the door open for customers Wednesday as the line went all the way outside. There was even a group waiting before the store opened to be the first people inside.

In its first week open, the Lebanon location set a franchise record with the most barbecue sales ever in a 1,500-square-foot store. According to Ron Burkett, the Lebanon restaurant was also close to breaking the record for any sized store.

“We definitely feel like we made the right decision opening the store,” said Tricia Burkett. “There have been some hiccups, but we feel good about how we’ve done so far.”

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