Last month Guy Fieri and the crew from Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives featured Pecan Lodge on it’s BBQ Road Show episode. Independently owned and operated by Justin & Diane Fourton, Pecan Lodge specializes in authentic BBQ and southern comfort food with an emphasis on scratch-made recipes enhanced by fresh, local ingredients. Cult favorites include Burnt Ends (off menu, when available), The Hot Mess, Southern Fried Chicken, and Aunt Polly’s Banana Pudding.
As I’m curious about the “Triple D” effect on restaurants (especially BBQ Joints), I thought I’d do a quick interview with Diane to get her insight into actually having their restaurant featured on this Food Network juggernaut.
Q. What was it like to find out that DDD wanted to feature you on their show?
A. Well at first we thought it was a prank. Then, when it started to sink in, it felt sort of dreamy and surreal. We looked at each other and thought: “How in the world did they even find us??”
Q. When was the episode actually filmed?
A. Early December, 2011
Q. What was it like having the crew there? Any funny moments?
A. The crew (Citizen Pictures and MatchCut Productions) was stellar. They spent 3 days with us and made everything feel so relaxed and fun. I don’t ever recall feeling nervous at all. It was such a great experience. Guy is much like you might expect- energetic and funny. But he definately knows his stuff and he’s very passionate (very serious, actually) about BBQ. He has nicknames for each of his crew members. He gave us nicknames as well. Guy calls Justin “Marlboro Man”. I told him he could just call me “Boss Lady”. Everyone else does.
Q. What was the next day (after the air date) like? Did you do anything special to prepare?
A. We weren’t sure exactly what the impact would look like, but conservatively, we figured we’d get a little bump at least that first week after the show aired. So in preparation, we leveraged our background in management consulting to forecast incremental purchase/cost estimates and staffing plans. We needed a game plan that would afford us the flexibility to scale up and back as needed, to meet demand without over-shooting, to really make the most of the opportunity. In hindsight, I’m so thankful we took the time to create that plan of action because we had NO IDEA how crazy things were about to get! Nothing could’ve truly prepared us. Turns out, a lot of people watch that show. A WHOLE LOT o’ people, y’all.
Q. What has life at the Pecan Lodge been like since? Still swamped?
A. It has been freakin’ awesome. And terrifying. Such a tremendous blessing. The best thing that’s ever happened to our business. You know, about this time last year, we were weeks (if not days) away from closing our doors at one point? But we hung in there somehow, and by the grace of God, we kept this place going. Dallas kept this place going. I don’t have words to express the depth of our gratitude at this moment.
Q. Any future plans for the Pecan Lodge? Wondering if you plan on expanding due to this?
A. Lots of folks are asking that question. At some point, we might consider a full service location, where folks could stop by for dinner. For now though, we’re focused on making sure Pecan Lodge at the Dallas Farmers Market meets its full potential. And ensuring, on a daily basis, for ourselves, our staff and our customers, that it was worth the wait.
Q. Any message for future DDD featured restaurants or those that are coming up in very near future episodes?
A. Get a good night’s sleep. Get your game face on. Embrace the crazy. That’s my message.
Close-up of The Hot Mess
Have you been to Pecan Lodge (before or after the airing of their episode)? What are your thoughts?
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