Buddys BBQ expands beyond Knoxville with new locations

Buddy’s Bar-B-Q, a beloved local chain in Tennessee, is looking to expand its reach beyond the state borders. With plans to open new franchises in neighboring states such as Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia, Buddy’s Bar-B-Q is aiming to become a regional brand. CEO Mark Lemoncelli is optimistic about the growth potential and envisions adding 10 new stores in the next five years.

To support this expansion, Buddy’s Bar-B-Q has partnered with InnoVision Marketing Group based in San Diego. The marketing group will help with a rebranding effort to ensure consistency and a cohesive image across all locations. Despite the changes, fans of Buddy’s can rest assured that the food and atmosphere they love will remain the same.

In addition to franchising out new locations, Buddy’s is also focused on reinvigorating existing ones. Over the past five years, they have opened five new locations, remodeled 11 existing ones, and incorporated new technology into every store. Lemoncelli’s leadership has laid the groundwork for this growth, and the partnership with InnoVision will further propel this momentum.

One of the existing locations, the Buddy’s Bar-B-Q on Magnolia Avenue, is currently under construction due to a kitchen fire earlier this year. Lemoncelli is optimistic about reopening the location in October after extensive rebuilding. In the meantime, employees have been relocated to other Buddy’s locations.

The legacy of Buddy’s Bar-B-Q dates back to 1972 when the first store opened on Kingston Pike. Founded by Buddy and LaMuriel Smothers, the restaurant has become a staple in East Tennessee with 19 locations and more on the horizon. The original founders’ commitment to quality and delicious barbecue has stood the test of time and continues to attract loyal customers.

As Buddy’s Bar-B-Q sets its sights on regional expansion, the future looks bright for this iconic Tennessee chain. With a focus on growth, rebranding, and maintaining the essence of their “hometown brand,” Buddy’s is poised to captivate new markets while staying true to its roots. Stay tuned for more exciting updates from Buddy’s Bar-B-Q as they embark on this new chapter of their journey.

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