Real Talk with Real Owners - Lee Waskom of Natchitoches, LA
For 25 years, Lee Waskom operated a textbook business that serviced university campuses in northern Louisiana. He also owned a shopping center building that had a space open up at just the right time that he was ready for his next venture. After researching franchise businesses at length, Lee chose Dickey’s because of the quality food, solid internal structure and ongoing franchise support from the corporate office. The pellet ice and Coke products gave him the extra nudge and now Lee is the proud owner of one of the largest Dickey’s locations with plans to open another store in Lafayette in March.
Lee’s store is located across the street from Northwestern University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Having partnered with universities his entire career, Lee leveraged that experience as he got his start in the barbecue business. In discussions with the school’s athletic director, Lee discovered that a large restaurant with high-protein options and TVs playing sports in demand when hosting opposing teams. Filling that need has been an excellent community engagement tool for this Dickey’s store. In the college town of 20,000,
Lee has found a niche market not only for sports, but for what he calls “in-store catering.” He was able to use extra space in his shopping center as a party room and he frequently hosts wedding parties, birthday parties and other get-togethers, in which he sets up full-service catering spreads in-house. This holiday season, Lee is already booked with many holiday parties.
Lee knew he wanted to choose a franchise with an excellent training program. “The Shift Meeting Training Videos are great for training new and existing employees,” Lee says of Dickey’s daily training videos. “The videos are great visual aids and I find them very helpful to enforce Dickey’s brand standards.” Lee consistently uses the training and marketing tools to grow his business in Natchitoches and will follow the same model at the new store in Lafayette. As a Brand Champion, we give Lee and his store an A – plus!