Posted by John on September 4th, 2012
When it comes to barbecue, there are a lot of variations; a lot of regional flavors and local traditions. When Shawn Boedecker of DFW Food Group went looking for the right sound to play in his Dickey’s Barbecue Pit restaurants, he had a difficult time at first in finding the right flavors. No ordinary background music fit. That’s why he turned to Custom Channels to cook up a mix of Texas country artists, with some Nashville country and a little bit rock. It’s the local flavor that makes these Dickey’s restaurants sound unique.
Boedecker runs his Dickey’s Barbecue Pit restaurants in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. You’ll hear the custom Dickey’s Texas-style music mix, powered by Custom Channels, playing when you eat ribs and brisket at Dickey’s on Blue Mound Road in Fort Worth, and in Bedford, Hurst, Roanoke, and North Richland Hills, Texas.
9 QUESTIONS FOR SHAWN BOEDECKER OF DICKEY’S BARBECUE
CC: First the food, then the music. Why is Dickey’s barbecue better than the rest?
SB: At Dickey’s we stick to what we’re good at and we do it better than the others. Our seasoned meats are slowed smoked on-site daily with pride and tradition that dates back over 70 years. We have the best selection of fresh side items that use recipes straight from the Dickey’s family.
CC: Your Dickey’s Texas Music Channel is a blend of styles, not just straight modern country we’d hear on FM radio. Describe the styles of music that get played.
SB: Our music is derived from the Texas Country music flavor which varies drastically from the traditional Nashville music. We also blend in a little bit of good ‘ol rock ‘n roll and a little bit of the fun music from Jimmy Buffet. We’ve pulled a lot of the fun upbeat songs that you’d expect to hear if you were at a Texas country club enjoying an ice cold beer.
CC: Tell us some artists or songs that we’d typically hear if we visited one of your restaurants.
SB: Jerry Jeff Walker, Ed Burleson, Pat Green and Kenny Chesney to name a few. Some of the more established guys from the days of yesterday and some of the up and coming Texas music artists.
CC: Most people only know about the big Pop Country artists, like Taylor Swift or Rascal Flatts. Why aren’t the many other Texas country artists more well known?
SB: Great question. In Texas, a lot of these other artists are known but as you venture further from the Lone Star state, they are less common. Nashville music is more well rooted across the country and Texas music artists have more of a grass roots approach which probably keeps them from being quite as mainstream.
CC: Can music make a customer’s visit to a restaurant a memorable experience?
SB: You bet! I’ll never forget the story of one of my managers, Lupe, that told me about an older gentleman that broke out with some dance moves and a big smile for the employees right in front of our meat carving block. The customers really enjoy the music and many have asked what station we are listening to or if there is a CD of our music that they can buy.
CC: What’s the reaction from employees to your custom music mix?
SB: Our employees have responded well. They are the ones that listen to the music over and over day in and day out. They like the new upbeat approach. Since we’ve customized the tunes, we’ve removed the slower songs that generally get mixed into the playlists.
CC: Would you recommend that other restaurants and business owners pay more attention to the music?
SB: Business owners definitely should give their music the attention it deserves. The low cost that we incur to customize our music and know that the music royalties are covered is well worth the benefit we gain. You might not think much about it, but the background music really sets the tone for the overall atmosphere in the business. We’ve seen a huge difference at our locations.
CC: There are lots of ways to get music; what other methods did you try at your Dickey’s restaurants before connecting with Custom Channels for your custom music service?
SB: I’ve seen others try a local radio station and that never works well. You can’t control the commercials or DJ’s talking. In fact, I was in a restaurant once that had a competitors ad on the local radio station that was playing.
I’ve used a one regional and a couple large providers of music channels in the past. I had no control of the music and never liked the slow or depressing country songs that were on the playlist. Then I had to deal with incremental price increases.
I love the personal relationship I have with the entire team at Custom Channels. There’s something to be said about having a Co-Founder of Custom Channels personally reach out to me when I first inquired for information. I love that I can pick up the phone and call these guys anytime. For the price I pay, the service and product just can’t be beat.
CC: What musician or singer would you most love to have eat at your Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and what would you recommend to order?
SB: There are lots of great artists out there. The late Chris LeDoux would top my list. He was an original pioneer for the kind of music we play and I have great memories of watching him perform his Cowboy Country music when he opened for Garth Brooks back in the early 90’s. For Chris, I’d recommend our three meat plate complete with ribs, brisket, sausage and a side of baked potato casserole and barbecue beans.