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Beef Jerky Outlet Ranked #72 on Entrepreneur 500 list for 2017

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Beef Jerky Outlet Named as One of 2017’s Top Franchises

The Beef Jerky Outlet Ranked 72nd on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 List KODAK, Tenn. (January 2017) – The Beef Jerky Outlet was named one of 2017’s top franchises on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 List, coming in at number 72. The Franchise 500 List is the most comprehensive ranking of franchises in the world, and it is an honor for Beef Jerky Outlet to be featured. Making the Top 500 list is no easy task. Each franchise is judged by standardized criteria, including financial strength and stability, size of the system and documented growth rate. Each criterion is objective and quantifiable; the Beef Jerky Outlet worked hard to earn their spot. “We are honored to have been named as one of the top franchises of 2017,” says Beef Jerky Outlet COO, Kathy Raines. “We’ve worked very hard over the past year and are quite happy with the growth and development we’ve seen as a result. Our network of franchisees is tremendous, and we couldn’t have accomplished this without them.” The Beef Jerky Outlet was founded in 2010 and has grown tremendously over the past six years. In 2016 alone, 35 new Beef Jerky Outlets were opened. Currently, there are more than 86 Beef Jerky Outlet locations across the country, six of which are still founder-owned. The Beef Jerky Outlet offers an impressive array of jerky. With over 100 varieties from which to choose, there is something for everyone. Jerky is high in protein and low in fat which will keep your busy family full and energized. To find a Beef Jerky Outlet near you, visit  


About the Beef Jerky Outlet The Beef Jerky Outlet was founded in 2010 and is the country’s first national jerky franchise. The company is headquartered in Kodak, Tennessee and there are currently 80 franchise locations, including 6 founder-owned stores.  Over the next 12 months, this number will grow to more than 100 locations. The Beef Jerky Outlet specializes in more than 200 varieties, sizes and flavors of premium jerky including exotic meats like kangaroo, alligator, venison and elk, as well as specialty flavors such as Moonshine and Cajun. Jerky is lean, high in protein, low in calories, contains less than 3% fat and has an extremely long shelf life. Millions seek out and enjoy this very nutritious snack every day. Across the country people are literally eating it up!

Kathy Raines, Our New Beef Jerky Outlet COO

kathy_raines_blog The Beef Jerky Outlet Franchise family is pleased to extend an enthusiastic welcome to Kathy Raines, our new COO. Kathy has been transitioning from her consultant work with us into the full time COO role. Kathy’s resume is quite impressive, literally working her way up the ladder in 32 years at Macy’s. Her many different titles and roles at Macy’s encompassed everything from Sales Manager, Shoe Buyer, Divisional Merchandise Manager, Senior Manager Store Planning and Construction and SE VP Regional Planning.

Although Kathy enjoyed every role at Macy’s, her time in Miami was especially fulfilling because it was the ultimate mix of good people, great business and fantastic leadership. Suffice it to say that promotions and new challenges were a nearly annual event for Kathy at Macy’s.

Desiring less travel, Kathy transitioned to Carter’s / OshKosh, which was headquartered out of her hometown of Atlanta. She met the new challenge by executing a new side-by- side store front, fueling an exponential increase in retail store presence in a two-year period. It has been our good fortune to have been introduced to her at a time when she was ready for yet another challenge.

Kathy met her husband Mark while they both worked for Allen Hugo at the Richway Department stores. Allen Hugo, a top Franchise Team associate for Beef Jerky Outlet, recommended Kathy to franchise management. Kathy and Mark have three grown daughters Heather Hollar (Josh), Tara Proctor (Lee) and Alexis Raines. They welcomed their first grandson Isaac last August and spend as much time as possible spoiling him!

Kathy’s background and experience will serve us well as we go through our rapid transition from start-up to a mature, structured franchise company. Her imprint has already rippled through the corporate side of the business as we restructure internally to become a more nimble, responsive franchisor. The entire franchise operation will soon feel the benefits her new initiatives and organization plans.  

Paul Lyons Discusses Unique Franchises in Franchising World

Paul Lyons, Beef Jerky Outlet co-founder, discusses the role of unique franchises in the January 2016 issue of Franchising World. BJO-FW--Paul-Lyons_Header
Spotlight on Unique Franchises That You May Not Know About
What first comes to mind when you hear the words beef jerky?  Is it former pro wrestler Randy “Macho Man” Savage yelling “Need a little excitement?  Snap into a Slim Jim!” in a series of wild commercials for Slim Jim snacks in the late ‘90’s?  Although the spots garnered mainstream attention for the company, it created a misconception of what beef jerky is to most consumers.  If people don’t have the correct impression of the product, they certainly are not aware of the many types of franchises, varieties and benefits of beef jerky.

Today there are a number of highly successful companies that produce, market and sell beef jerky throughout the country.  Unlike some franchises that serve burgers, pizza or chicken sandwiches for the masses, those who produce beef jerky are considered to be in a specialized market.  So how do some of these franchises take a niche product or service and make it into a successful venture?  There are many ways.

Establish Your Identity and Embrace It
According to the International Franchise Association’s 2015 Franchise Business Economic Outlook prepared by IHS Economics, there are more than 780,000 franchise establishments in the United States.  Not all of these franchisees can be McDonald’s or Marriott.  There are plenty of smaller, lesser known franchises who offer valuable and desired services to consumers.  They will need to develop a successful business model, be creative in establishing their brand and effectively market to a select audience.

Regardless of which sector your business is in, it is important to establish a distinct brand identity.  What is your company about and what do you offer?  What is the story behind your concept?  Why are you the best and how will consumers remember you?

The Beef Jerky Outlet Experience
At the Beef Jerky Outlet, we love the opportunity to tell our story.  A decade ago my business partner, Scott Parker, and I noticed the growing popularity of beef jerky and thought we could take advantage of it.  After operating a few individual stores and a product distribution company, we opened our first franchise store in 2010.  Five years later, the Beef Jerky Outlet has 43 open locations and another 65 scheduled to open across the United States.

The franchise concept has taken off with the increased demands of consumers throughout the country for beef jerky products.  IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm, reported sales of jerky jumped 46 percent from 2009 to 2013, catapulting it to a $1.24 billion industry.  Beef jerky is also one of the fastest growing segments of the snack food industry, as it appeals to consumers’ desire for lightweight, high-protein foods.  It is popular among runners, weight lifters and hikers as people look for foods that are high in protein and low in calories, carbohydrates and fat.

The business model for the Beef Jerky Outlet is simple, yet effective.  We find the highest quality USDA approved beef and make the jerky in small batches to ensure freshness.  In addition to beef jerky we offer more than 200 varieties and sizes of jerky. Our products include exotics like venison, ostrich and buffalo, with flavors such as honey BBQ, teriyaki and 3 Beer Rub.  Finally, we make the experience fun by developing new products and giving away plenty of free samples for our customers to taste the best beef jerky out there.

There is a Market for a lot of Services
The story behind the Beef Jerky Outlet is just one of thousands from franchises that may appear to operate below the radar of larger, mainstream services.  Here are some other examples of unique franchises who have successfully carved their own niche within a specialized industry sector:

  • Any Lab Test Now is the first direct access lab testing services company that allows consumers and businesses to manage their health via hundreds of clinical lab, DNA, and drug and alcohol tests.  As the medical care industry changes, the franchise empowers patients to take control of their health on their own terms and schedules.  Any Lab Test Now gives patients the option to get their health questions answered without having to make a doctor’s appointment and at cost that is much more affordable.

  • NTY Franchise Company is the parent company of five unique re-sale based brands who focus on women’s designer fashion, children’s apparel and accessories, furniture/household goods, electronic sales and repair, and clothing for teens and young adults.  Their franchise business model sells gently used goods at 70% off what they would retail for brand new.  NTY Franchise brands is attractive to all parties, as it saves customers money and pays sellers cash on the spot for the items they are no longer using.

  • Creative Colors repairs and restores leather, vinyl, plastic and fabric upholstery at a fraction of the replacement costs.  As the industry leader in on-site repair and restoration, the franchise saves customers 90% on replacement and upholstering fees.  Creative Colors fulfills an essential need by repairing old or worn items, and their retailers and customers are blown away by what they can accomplish for a small percentage of the costs.

Those are three different franchises with three varying services they provide.  Each has been successful in taking their service directly to the consumer and showing how they can benefit from it.  While every unique franchise can take their own path to success, they have used many of these techniques to create their own identity and stand out from the crowd.

Taking Your Product to the Consumer and Engaging their Support
So a franchise has a great new service to offer, and they believe they have a strong potential audience for their product.  What is next?  With the proliferation of so many brands in today’s marketplace, consumers are also more willing to try new options.  Franchises can capture a fresh audience by offering something new or different.  Part of that is what product they offer, and part of that is how they market and promote their business to consumers.

One of the most important factors for franchises offering specific services need to consider is how they take their business directly to the consumer.  Advertising is obviously a good option, but many smaller franchisees have a limited budget, especially when getting their operations up and running.  Everyone is familiar with Google and similar online search engines, so these companies need to make sure they are easily found when people search for a particular product or service.  Developing a strong SEO program is essential for franchises looking to get the eyeballs of potential customers.

Franchises that offer a unique service or product may face a greater initial challenge to ingrain themselves into the consumers’ minds, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.  They have the opportunity to craft their business identity and successfully reach audiences that don’t have preconceived thoughts on the product.  The ability to create your own narrative and develop original messaging can be a powerful tool in marketing your business.

If a company sells hamburgers or cookies, we pretty much already know about those products and don’t need to learn much more.  But beef jerky – how much do people really know about it?  We can take this opportunity to let people know that it is the favorite snack of the military, and NASA has provided it to astronauts in space for years.  If people have the perception that beef jerky is simply a dried, chewy snack, we can come up with fun and innovative ways to let them know that it comes in many exotic flavors such as Moonshine and Cajun, and varieties ranging from kangaroo, alligator and elk.

Franchises currently have the ability to connect with their customers now more than ever before.  The Beef Jerky Outlet frequently uses social media to engage with our followers and promote our products at the same time.  Earlier this year, we held a contest to name our newest flavor and the response we received through our social media outlets was overwhelming.  Your customers can strongly identify with your brand and feel more connected to the growth and development your company.

Whether it be through social media or consistent sales, another advantage these franchises have is through customer loyalty.  They offer a specific service or product that few other companies can provide.  If they do it well, people will return because only that franchise can give them exactly what they want.  Very few major chains and big box stores truly strike a chord with their customers.  Their success comes from convenience and availability, but they rarely create the same passionate following as some smaller franchises.

Luckily, specialized franchises are positioned to have greater success than ever before.  They have the ability to level the playing field against larger franchises by crafting their own narrative, reaching more people through online searches and social media and actively developing a loyal followers of their franchise.  The Beef Jerky Outlet has been able to thrive by capitalizing on the growing popularity of our product, marketing it in a fun and interesting way and creating a passionate following for our brand.  Others franchises can chart their course to success through many of the same methods while tailoring a specific approach through their business services and audience needs.

Meet the Franchisee: Atlantic City New Jersey’s Randy Giandonato and Rick Kromer

  1. Why did you decide to join Beef Jerky Outlet? Randy and I came into BJO after Randy went into the Richmond, Virginia store and fell in love AC Boyswith it. Randy has always been a huge Beef Jerky fan so the idea of having a store was a dream come true.
  2. What makes Beef Jerky Outlet such a great franchise opportunity? The BJO model fits really well into what we were looking for in a business. Reasonable buy in. Long term product shelf life. Simple biz plan with favorable margins.
  3. Any big plans for the future of your store? We are fortunate that we have a lot of different events happening in AC so there is always something going on to bring people in. We have always planned on adding additional stores but we want to wait till this store is running smoothly before we add more locations.
  4. What is the weirdest question you have received from a customer? We get our fair share of strange questions from people asking if we have vegetarian beef jerky to customers asking if the gummy bears are jerky.
  5. What question do you receive the most from your customers? Most popular questions are of course: Which ones are your favorite and what’s the most popular? People ask what the “most exotic” that we have. One day I’ll get around to setting up a mock Platypus and Unicorn jerky display just for kicks.

Beef Jerky Outlet Franchise Store Openings in November

Beef Jerky Outlet Franchise opened for new stores in November. We are proud to welcome the new owners to the BJO Franchise family. The new retail stores are located in Louisiana, Florida, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
  • BJO Monroe, Louisiana on November 13, 2015 Sam Patel & Bunty Patel, Owners
  • BJO Orlando-Waterford Lakes, Florida on November 18, 2015 Teri Corbett & Frank Murru, Owners
  • BJO York, Pennsylvania on November 19, 2015 Justin Wolfe & Jeremy Schlosser, owners
  • BJO Columbia, South Carolina on November 23, 2015 Sid & Kassandra Segars

Beef Jerky Outlet Franchise Awards Store 100

Beef Jerky Outlet Franchise is headed to the International Franchise Expo in NYC with great momentum. The “Jerky Experience” trade show exhibit will make its debut and franchise store sales are surging. Beef Jerky Outlet has just reached a major milestone in the company’s 5-year history, selling its 100th franchise in St. Charles, Missouri. The sale is a testament to Beef Jerky Outlet’s continued growth, which has surged 1,000 percent over the past 18 months. IFE_Growth_2015 The latest location was sold to Cory and Norbert Zornizer who will be opening the franchise in St. Charles later this year. “We saw the segment on Beef Jerky Outlet on national television last year and immediately started researching,” Cory said. “We are so excited to be part of the Beef Jerky Outlet family, and to be recognized as the 100th franchise is just an added bonus.” Beef Jerky Outlet franchises are located in 23 states around the United States. “We knew this was going to be a great franchise; I just can’t believe how quickly we sold 100 franchises,” said Paul Lyons, COO and co-founder of Beef Jerky Outlet.

The Jerky Experience at the International Franchise Expo 2015


The Beef Jerky Outlet is excited to release “The Experience” at the International Franchise Expo at the Javits Center in New York City on June 18-20.

JE_Truck_background_03b“The Experience” is a mobile Beef Jerky Outlet store that will bring the Beef Jerky Outlet experience out of the store and onto the streets. The trailer is fully equipped with custom stairs, removable signage panels and a self-contained trailer with generator and Internet capabilities for the register system. The trailer has a rear door with a lift so all can enjoy it. BJO_Experience_open“The Experience’ is an open trailer that will let everyone come in for a full sampling of all the great products Beef Jerky Outlet has to offer,” said Paul Lyons COO of Beef Jerky Outlet. “This will be a great opportunity to showcase our Beef Jerky Outlet store experience at public events without losing that store effect.” With Beef Jerky Outlet’s surge in growth — 1,000 percent over the past 12 months — “The Experience” will not only bring beef jerky to new customers, but it will also be beneficial for brand awareness.

Beef Jerky Outlet Conference Recap

Beef Jerky Outlet Conference Recap

It all started on Tuesday night, April 14th – the first ever Beef Jerky Outlet Conference. A mecca of all things beef jerky. So, we had to start with a welcome reception. Basically a cocktail party, because this was the first time franchisees had ever had an opportunity to meet one another. On Wednesday, things started bright and early with breakfast, naturally. From there it was a day of workshops and meetings. But the day really began with an update from President and COO Paul Lyons and Scott Parker on the state of the company. Did you know that franchises are opening monthly, and there has been 1,000 percent growth, in terms of number of new stores opening over the past 12 months? Wow!!! Paul and Scott also introduced the brand new board of directors for Beef Jerky Outlet. The three inaugural members are Bob Hathaway (Branson and Springfield, Missouri), Lisa Adams (Concord, North Carolina) and Jason Patterson (Madison, Alabama). Three new members will be voted in by BJO franchisees next year to push the board to six. The following year, 3 more will be elected to make 9. From now on, board members will serve for three years to always allow for fresh ideas. Finally, the keynote speaker for the event was John Patterson. He is the co-author (with Chip Bell) of the international bestseller “Wired and Dangerous; How Your Customers Have Changed and What To Do About It.” To make a long story short, he was very inspiring. All right, break! More accurately, it was time for more discussions on the topics of the day and lunch. After lunch, we all broke up into groups and had roundtable discussions. The topics were: Supplier relationships – Paul Lyons/Mike Grillo/Kenny Needham
  • Future growth – Mick Riddiough/Andy Mace
  • Online sales – Scott Parker/Scott Curkin
  • Customer service – Steve Lyons/John Patterson
  • Marketing – Allen Hugo/David Chapman
  • Employee issues – Allen Musick/Bruce Parker
Phew, after a long day of discussing the company, the locations, the growth and the new point of sale system rolling out soon, it was finally time for a well deserved dinner. Bonus, it was also time for the awards presentation. The hard-working winners of our first-ever Beef Jerky Outlet awards were … Franchisee of the year: Steven and Dana Crane, Greenville, South Carolina Top Sales awards No. 1 Franchisee sales 2014         Scharlean Cooper and Casey Lowery, Destin, Florida No. 2 Franchisee sales 2014         Steven and Dana Crane, Greenville, South Carolina No. 3 Franchisee sales 2014         Dan and Doreen DeYoung, Dells, Wisconsin No. 4 Franchisee sales 2014         Lisa Adams, Concord, North Carolina No. 5 Franchisee sales 2014         Robert and Deb Hathaway, Branson, Missouri The SPSF Award (For getting the most out of the least!) Clint and Laura Hall, Galveston, Texas Rookie of the Year “The WV Boys” Ryan Neal, Aaron Neal, Troy Stiffler and Steve Davis If you thought the Beef Jerky Outlet owners had enough for one day, think again. This was the first time they had been able to get together and talk shop. And talk shop they did, even after conference day 1 was all said and done. Conference Day 2 On Thursday, we all gathered for a special breakfast treat. An omelet bar featured omelets made with prime rib jerky. How’s that for a prime jerky morning? This was, after all, the supplier breakfast, where franchisees got to meet with different suppliers who help our company do great things. After the breakfast, the suppliers gave brief presentations. We heard from the Complete Signs, 3 Beer Rub, accounting and a real estate lawyer. The event then concluded with a presentation by 919 Marketing detailing all the national press we’ve gotten this year, as well as coverage of our grand openings. Yep, they were grand! All in all, it was an extremely productive and fun couple days in Atlanta. Here’s to next year!

Beef Jerky Outlet First Annual Conference in Atlanta, April 14-16

Beef Jerky Outlet Franchise will hold its First Annual Franchise Conference at the Atlanta Airport Marriot, April 14-16. The conference will be the first opportunity for franchisees to meet their colleagues, management and suppliers in a common venue. Beef Jerky Outlet Franchise management is expecting close to 100% franchisee attendance. Beef Jerky Outlet Franchise has experienced remarkable growth over the last two years. The franchise has grown to 35 operating store with an additional 55 scheduled for opening. This rate of expansion has earned the Beef Jerky Outlet an Entrepreneur Magazine Top 500 Franchise qualification. Entrepreneur has also rated Beef Jerky Outlet as #22 of the 75 Fastest Growing Franchises. Beef Jerky Outlet has been featured on many major media outlets, including Fox & Friends, Fox Business News and USA Today. The conference keynote speaker will be John Patterson of Progressive Insights, Inc., a premier customer relationship management consulting firms. Customer service is of the highest importance to Beef Jerky Outlet franchisees and the keynote address will offer insights into developing a customer-centric perspective and delivering a consistently great shopping experience. Creating an inviting customer experience is an essential feature of the franchise blueprint, which includes free samples and personalized product selection. The expansion of the franchise has been matched with major upgrades to the support system. Franchisees will have the opportunity to discuss recently added support features, including a new online portal that provides product ordering, marketing resources and franchise announcements. Franchisees will meet the new advertising team from 919 Marketing, who will present a show of the media hits from the last few months and discuss store level social media marketing. Franchise suppliers will be present to show off a selection of their products and spend quality time with the store owners. Representatives of insurance, accounting and real estate services will also be on hand. Franchisees will learn more about the extensive demographic research conducted by Buxtonco for the franchise. This research will help identify new retail store locations and opportunities. Franchisees will benefit from insights into customer demographics. A precise identification of consumer segments will allow the franchise to develop more effective retail marketing strategies. Beef Jerky Outlet planning for the future includes the development of new store design plans. JGA, an architectural firm specializing in innovative retail store design, has worked closely with the franchise to create the look of the future. The improved and innovative design plans will significantly improve the customer experience by streamlining the selection and checkout process. New store start up time will be reduced and the opportunity for locating outlets in a variety of retail venues greatly expanded. A conference highlight will be the presentation of the Inaugural Franchisee of the Year Award to a selected store owner. The award is given to the store owner who exemplifies the Beef Jerky Outlet Franchise model for retail management best practices. The award recipient shows enthusiasm and energy in store operations and customer relations, as well as contributing new ideas to the franchise and store owners.

Beef Jerky Outlet Franchise Available in Illinois and Maryland

Beef Jerky Outlet Franchises are now available for sale in Illinois and Maryland. Beef Jerky Outlet is an Entrepreneur Top 500 Franchise featuring hundreds of varieties of jerky and specialty snack foods at locations in 16 states. Beef Jerky Outlet Franchise currently has 34 operating stores with over 40 more slated to open in the near future. Paul Lyons, Beef Jerky Outlet COO, is pleased with the prospects for franchise sales in both Illinois and Maryland. “Our research indicates many prime locations in these states that meet all of our requirements for success. We prefer busy destination venues adjacent to high traffic retail shopping areas. Proximity to big box outdoor retailers is a real plus, given our customer demographics,” said Lyons. There are several excellent retail opportunities in the greater Chicagoland area, according to Lyons. “Hoffman Estates, Gurnee and Bolingbrook are all busy shopping areas featuring either Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops. I expect that these locations will be snapped up right away by current franchise owners or new applicants,” said Lyons. Maryland also offers excellent opportunities, including the Arundel Mills mall in Hanover, which is anchored by a Bass Pro Shop.