What is VooDoo BBQ?

VooDoo BBQ is New Orleans-style barbecue.

You might ask: What’s that?

It’s a new kind of barbecue, with fresh combinations of flavors and ingredients.

VooDoo BBQ & Grill’s St. Louis-style ribs and jerk chicken.

It’s a kind of cuisine that VooDoo BBQ developed and introduced to the world more than a decade ago — appropriately, on the Zulu and Rex parade route on Mardi Gras Day — and sold with great success even to the discerning palates of New Orleans and south Louisiana, where people know the difference between good and mediocre food. Restaurants that make it in the culinary pressure cooker of New Orleans can thrive just about anywhere.

VooDoo BBQ, like its home city, is a blend of influences, tastes, spices and attitudes that combine to create something unique. It’s a cuisine that respects established culinary traditions — Southern, Caribbean, Creole, Cajun, French — but combines them in fresh ways to serve up something new.

A customer shot of the lunch crowd at the VooDoo BBQ & Grill on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans.

It’s a franchise system that, after nearly a decade of proving itself in the ultra-competitive food arena of south Louisiana, is expanding to embrace new markets in Texas, Florida and other states. VooDoo BBQ is a business that’s positioning itself at the crest of some of the hottest trends in the restaurant industry: the movement toward “comfort food” and colorful, ethnic cuisine; the emergence of the “fast-casual” restaurant, the fastest-growing segment in the industry; the thriving franchise industry; and the evergreen popularity of the cuisine of New Orleans, one of the world’s great food cities.

The signature dish of the South

VooDoo BBQ starts with meat slow-cooked over flame, the signature dish of the American South and a food that’s been around as long as people have. At VooDoo, we take pride in serving our beef, chicken and pork barbecue competition-style, which means it’s perfectly seasoned and smoked and served as is, and the guest can add sauce to taste. Our sauces aren’t the syrupy confections you find at other barbecue joints; we have three sauces (Mojo, Cane Vinegar and Mango Crystal, made with Louisiana’s famous Crystal Hot Sauce) that bring out — not cover up — the natural flavor of the meat.

There’s much more to VooDoo BBQ than just the meat. Some barbecue places serve great meat but skimp on the side dishes. For us, the sides are just as important as the barbecue, which is why we’ve developed side dishes you won’t find anywhere else. Take our Gris Gris Greens, simmered until tender (but not mushy!) and seasoned with lean pork. Or our corn pudding, crisp kernels in sweet cornmeal. Or our sweet potato soufflé, which defies description. Or even our potato salad, made with sour cream, chives and bacon bits to create a baked potato in a bowl. (Traditionalists needn’t fret. We’ve got excellent fries, cole slaw and macaroni & cheese, too.) And we don’t aim for just the crowd that craves barbecue, either — we serve great po-boy sandwiches, seafood dishes and salads, too, which means VooDoo BBQ is a perfect choice for anybody who wants a great-tasting, affordable meal served quickly.

VooDoo BBQ’s Nicholson Drive location near the LSU campus in Baton Rouge.

More than just excellent barbecue

The food is only part of the VooDoo recipe. We want to give diners an experience, a combination of food, sound and ambience that amounts to a 35-to-40-minute New Orleans vacation. We make our stores bright, clean and inviting, with French Quarter interior design touches and Louisiana music — zydeco, jazz, R&B — playing over the PA system. We’re not aiming for the traditional “Bubba’s BBQ Shack” vibe; we want a fresh space that’s comfortable for everyone.

Louisiana isn’t known as a big market for barbecue, which gave us a chance to establish a unique niche there. Since mid-2010, we’ve been expanding into other markets that have their own barbecue traditions. We’ve signed franchise agreements with entrepreneurs who plan to add locations to several new states in the next decade: the Carolinas, Texas, Florida and Mississippi. They’re places that may have experienced barbecue, but not the way VooDoo serves it — with new tastes, in new settings, with new recipes, in a fast-casual environment packed with New Orleans-style flavor and magic.

Interested in learning more? Download our free franchise report, and let’s start a conversation.