City set to welcome new barbeque franchise

Jason
Jason Kerr
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Woody’s Bar-B-Q is all set to open in Prince Albert next week.

Woody's Bar-B-Q will open next week in the Quality Inn on 13th street east.

This is the seventh Woody’s franchise to set up shop in Canada, and the first in Saskatchewan.

“It just made a lot of sense,” Woody’s national president Dan Masters says.  “There’s no barbeque place.  Demographically you have a good mixture there.  The population’s large enough, so it just made sense.”

The Woody’s franchise specializes in southern food, specifically barbeque.  It’s menu items include traditional southern items like Brunswick stew, banana pudding, and of course, southern barbeque.  Masters says the try to make everything in house.

“We’re very authentic when it comes to making barbeque,” he says.

Woody’s has grown to encompass 34 restaurants, in addition to the seven in Canada, after starting out as a single restaurant in Florida.  Masters says it’s their unique style of cooking that’s led to their success.

“There’s nothing on the menu that you can’t get in other restaurants in Prince Albert,” Masters says. “They don’t quite cook it the same way we do.  We smoke our meat, so that’s the difference.”

He says there’s also a wide array of healthy food for people who are watching what they eat.

“That’s the thing about smoked meats,” he says.  “If you take our beef brisket or sliced pork or chicken or turkey and you don’t put any barbeque sauce on it, it’s about as healthy as your going to get.”

Masters says they didn’t deliberately target Prince Albert for a franchise.  Instead, a local resident who wanted to bring the restaurant to northern Saskatchewan approached them.  However, the city still has to be viable.

“If somebody came to us with a market we’re not interested in, then we would pass on the deal.  We don’t go somewhere just because somebody want it,” Masters says. 

Masters says the size of Prince Albert and the lack of competing restaurants made the city a viable option.  He also says they liked the location, right next to the Quality Inn downtown.

“It’s not uncommon today for a lot of hotel operators to put a chain restaurant in their hotel,” he says.  “It attracts more customers, it’s one less headache they have to worry about, and we’ll do a better job of running a restaurant than a hotel manager.”

Masters says that they have plans to open other outlets in Regina and Saskatoon, but for now Prince Albert can lay claim to the only Woody’s in the province.  Masters himself will be in town next week for the official opening, and he thinks everyone will enjoy what they have to offer.

“I don’t want to say they’re going to be surprised, because people expect to have a good meal when they go out,” he says.  “All I know is that all the other markets we’ve opened in Canada, people really have enjoyed us and we’re building a nice reputation.”

Organizations: Prince Albert, Quality Inn

Geographic location: Canada, Saskatchewan, Florida Northern Saskatchewan Regina Saskatoon

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