Welcome to the world of smoky, savory, and mouth-watering barbecue! Today, we’re diving into the incredible story of the Underdog BBQ franchise that has captured the hearts and taste buds of barbecue enthusiasts across the nation. Born from an ambitious challenge and fueled by a passion for great food, Underdog BBQ has risen from humble beginnings to become a true contender in the competitive world of barbecue. Join us as we explore the fascinating history, unique flavors, and entrepreneurial spirit that have made Underdog BBQ a true American success story. 

Underdog BBQ is a growing franchises with a dedicated following. While specific industry statistics are limited, we can gather some insights about the company’s standing. Their total revenue is under $5 million, and they are part of the restaurant industry with a SIC code of 58,581.


What is the Underdog BBQ?

The popular American barbecue joint and franchise ‘Underdog BBQ’ is renowned for its succulent and genuine smoked meats, homemade sauces, and southern-inspired sides. The brand originated from the popular television program “Undercover Billionaire,” in which businessman Glenn Stearns sought to start a million-dollar company from scratch in under 90 days with just $100, a cell phone, and an old pickup truck. Due to the restaurant’s quick success, a franchise system was soon established, enabling aspiring business owners to spread the flavors and attitude of Underdog BBQ to new locations around the nation.

The menu at Underdog BBQ offers a selection of slow-smoked meats, such as pulled pork, brisket, ribs, and chicken, as well as a wide selection of delectable sides, including mac and cheese, baked beans, and coleslaw. They have built a devoted following of barbecue connoisseurs and casual eaters alike thanks to their dedication to high-quality products, traditional cooking techniques, and a warm, welcoming environment.

Is Underdog BBQ a franchise opportunity?

Yes, there is a franchising opportunity for Underdog BBQ. The company chose to franchise after the initial restaurant, which was highlighted on the television program “Undercover Billionaire,” was successful. Aspiring business owners now have the chance to open and run their own Underdog BBQ restaurant.

The opportunity includes comprehensive training and support from the corporate team, as well as access to the unique menu, recipes, and branding that have made Underdog BBQ popular among barbecue enthusiasts. 

If you’re passionate about barbecue and looking to start your own business in the restaurant industry, becoming an Underdog BBQ franchisee could be an exciting and rewarding opportunity.

Facts That Nobody Told You About Underdog BBQ

  1. Underdog BBQ was born from a TV show called “Undercover Billionaire,” where entrepreneur Glenn Stearns had 90 days to build a million-dollar business from scratch with only $100, a cell phone, and an old pickup truck.
  2. The original Underdog BBQ restaurant opened in 2019 and is situated in Erie, Pennsylvania.
  3. The term “underdog” refers to Glenn Stearns’ journey and the challenges he overcame in starting the business.
  4. Glenn Stearns partnered with local Erie entrepreneurs and residents to create the Underdog BBQ concept, menu, and branding.
  5. Underdog BBQ is committed to using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and supporting local farmers and suppliers.
  6. Their custom-made smokers use a combination of hickory and cherry wood to create the perfect flavor profile for their slow-smoked meats.
  7. Underdog BBQ’s signature sauces are all made in-house, and they offer a variety of flavors to complement their smoked meats, including traditional, spicy, and tangy options.
  8. The Underdog BBQ franchise opportunity provides comprehensive training and support for franchisees, including site selection, marketing, and menu development.
  9. The franchise has a relatively lower initial investment compared to other established franchises, with costs ranging from $256,360 to $440,045.
  10. The company is dedicated to giving back to the community through charitable initiatives, such as supporting local food banks and organising fundraising events.


Underdog BBQ Franchise Locations Reviews and Information

Industry Type Food Franchise Opportunities
Sub Category Barbecue Restaurant
Year Established 2019
Company Name Underdog BBQ
Founder/Management Head Glenn Stearns
Franchising Started Information not available
Employees at Company H.O Information not available
Franchise Expansion Plan Focused on expanding its presence across the United States, but specific expansion plans are not available
Number of Units Information not available
Number of Franchise Units Information not available
Social Media Handles Facebook
Company Office location  Underdog BBQ 3040 West 12th Street Erie, PA 16505


How much does an Underdog BBQ franchise cost?

To open the Underdog BBQ franchise, the initial cost ranges from $256,360 to $440,045. This cost covers various expenses such as equipment, signage, and initial inventory. The actual cost for each franchisee may vary depending on factors like location, size, and other individual circumstances.

Please note that additional fees, such as royalty fees and marketing fees, may also apply. 

Underdog BBQ franchise requirements

While specific details about these franchise requirements are not readily available, some general information can be provided. Typically, franchisees are expected to meet certain financial and operational requirements. These can include:

  • Financial requirements: Franchisees must have enough money to pay for both the initial investment—which can cost between $256,360 and $440,045—and any recurring costs, like royalties and advertising costs.
  • Expertise: In order to operate a profitable franchise, franchisees should ideally have prior expertise in the food and restaurant industry or excellent business acumen.
  • Dedication: Franchisees must demonstrate a commitment to the Underdog BBQ brand and its principles, as well as a readiness to abide by the rules and regulations that have been set forth.
  • Location: Franchisees will need a suitable location that meets the company’s requirements in terms of size, visibility, and local market potential.
  • Training: Franchisees must be willing to participate in the company’s training program, which covers various aspects of the business, such as operations, menu development, and marketing.

How much do Underdog BBQ franchise owners make?

There is no specific information available about how much these franchise owners make. Profits for franchise owners can vary greatly depending on factors such as location, management, competition, and overall market conditions.

To get a better understanding of the potential earnings for this franchise, it’s best to contact the company directly or speak with existing franchisees about their experiences and financial performance. Keep in mind that individual results may vary, and past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Underdog BBQ Training for Franchises

While specific details about Underdog BBQ’s training program for franchisees are not readily available, it’s common for franchisors to offer comprehensive training and support to ensure franchisees are well-equipped to run a successful business.

Typically, training programs may cover

  1. Operations: Franchisees learn about the day-to-day operations of the restaurant, including staffing, inventory management, and quality control.
  2. Menu: Franchisees receive guidance on menu development, food preparation, and maintaining consistency across all locations.
  3. Marketing: Training may cover local marketing strategies, social media management, and advertising to help franchisees effectively promote their businesses.
  4. Customer service: training in customer service Best practices are crucial to ensuring a positive guest experience and maintaining a brand’s reputation.
  5. Ongoing support: Franchisors often provide ongoing support, such as regular check-ins, updates on new products or services, and industry news and trends.

Underdog BBQ Operations for Franchises

Specific details about Underdog BBQ’s operations for franchisees are not readily available. However, in general, franchise operations involve a range of activities and resources provided by the franchisor to help franchisees run their businesses effectively. These may include:

  1. Standard operating procedures: Franchisors typically provide detailed guidelines on how to run the business, covering aspects such as food preparation, safety and hygiene, inventory management, and staff training.
  2. Supply chain management: Franchisees may benefit from established relationships with suppliers, which can help ensure consistent product quality and cost savings.
  3. Marketing and advertising support: Franchisors usually provide guidance on marketing strategies, promotional materials, and advertising to help franchisees effectively promote their businesses.
  4. Technology and systems: Franchisees may have access to proprietary technology, such as point-of-sale systems, inventory management tools, or customer relationship management software.
  5. Ongoing support: Franchisors often offer ongoing support through regular check-ins, updates on new products or services, and access to a network of other franchisees for advice and best practices.

How is Underdog BBQ territory granted to franchises?

Specific information about how Underdog BBQ grants territory to franchisees is not readily available. However, franchise territory allocation is a common practice in the industry, and it generally involves the following steps:

  1. Market research: Franchisors often conduct market research to identify areas with strong growth potential and suitable demographics for their brand. This information helps them determine where to expand and grant new territories.
  2. Territory size and exclusivity: franchisors may define territories based on factors such as population size, geographical boundaries, and market potential. They typically grant exclusive rights to franchisees within their designated territory to minimise competition between locations.
  3. Franchisee selection: When granting territories, franchisors frequently take into account the franchisee’s financial capabilities, experience, and dedication to the brand’s principles and operating procedures.
  4. Territory protection: Some franchisors may include language in their franchise agreements that guarantees franchisees exclusive rights to their region and prevents the franchisor from building other units nearby.
  5. Ongoing support: Franchisors often support franchisees in their territory with marketing, training, and operational assistance to help them succeed in their market.

What is the franchise term of agreement and renewal?

There is no particular information available regarding this franchise agreement’s term and renewal. Franchise agreements often have a specified period, which frequently ranges from 5 to 20 years. Franchisees may have the option to extend the contract after the initial term has ended if they satisfy specific requirements imposed by the franchisor.

These conditions may consist of:

  1. Satisfactory performance: Franchisees must show they have successfully run their businesses while abiding by the norms and regulations of the franchisor.
  2. Updated agreement terms: Franchisees may be required to sign a new agreement that reflects updated terms and conditions, fees, or other changes.
  3. Remodeling or upgrading: To guarantee that their location satisfies current brand standards and customer expectations, franchisees may need to invest in remodeling or upgrading their location.
  4. Renewal fees: To extend their contract, franchisees might need to pay a renewal fee to the franchisor.

Financial assistance to franchises

There is no precise information about whether Underdog BBQ offers financial support to franchisees. However, some franchisors provide financial assistance to help franchisees with costs like start-up costs, equipment, and inventory. This help may take many different forms, such as:

  1. Direct financing: Some franchisors may lend money to franchisees to help with start-up fees or continuing expenses.
  2. Preferred lenders: Franchisors may have relationships with banks or other lending institutions that specialise in franchise financing. Franchisees can benefit from competitive loan terms and streamlined application processes through these preferred lenders.
  3. Lease negotiation assistance: In some cases, franchisors may assist franchisees in negotiating lease terms for their location, which can help reduce costs or secure more favorable conditions.
  4. Vendor discounts: Franchisees may benefit from discounts on equipment, supplies, and inventory through the franchisor’s established relationships with suppliers.


Pros and cons of owning an Underdog BBQ franchise

I can provide you with the general pros and cons of owning a franchise, which might apply to Underdog BBQ.

Pros of owning a franchise

  • established brand recognition
  • proven business model
  • Support from the franchisor
  • Access to a network of other franchisees
  • Marketing and advertising support

Cons of owning a franchise

  • Initial and ongoing costs
  • Limited creativity and control
  • Strict adherence to the franchisor’s rules
  • Possible conflicts with the franchisor
  • Dependence on the overall success of the franchise brand

What are Underdog BBQ franchise reviews?

There are no specific reviews on this franchise, as it seems they are still in the early stages of planning for expansion into franchising. However, Underdog BBQ originated from the Discovery show “Undercover Billionaire” and has gained some recognition. As they are still in the process of expanding, there isn’t much information on franchisee experiences or reviews at this time.

Underdog BBQ Franchise Rankings

There are no specific rankings for this franchise. It appears that they are in the early stages of planning for expansion into franchising. As they are still in the process of expanding, there isn’t much information on franchise rankings at this time.

Franchise Deck Analysis and Overview

Underdog BBQ is in the early stages of planning for expansion into franchising. There is not much information available on their franchise offerings yet, but the estimated cost of starting this franchise ranges from $256,360 to $440,045. If you’re interested in becoming an official wholesaler of their products, they encourage interested parties to contact them via email for more information.

In summary, there’s limited information available for these franchises at this time, as they’re in the early stages of expansion. As more information becomes available, it will be easier to provide a comprehensive analysis and overview of their franchise offerings.

Competition Analysis of Underdog BBQ


Underdog BBQ Cost to Franchise Franchise Fees Royalty + Ad fees Expected Profit Recoup of Capital FD Rating
Underdog BBQ  $256,360 to $440,045. 3.7/5.0
Mission BBQ franchise  $663,649–$2,080,491 $35,000 5%+2% 4.0/5.0
Sonic Franchise $1,242,200 to $3,537,700  $45,000 5%


13% 14.5


Five Guys Franchise $306,200 to $641,250.  $25,000     6% $136,344 to 


4 to 6 


Jack in the Box


$1,697,000-$2,694,600 $50,000 5%+5% $1,575,246 7.5-11 years 3.3/5.0
Wendy’s franchise $2-$3.5 million $40,000     4% $ 330490 to 

$ 440653

8 to 12 Years 3.9/5.0
Whataburger franchise $0.5 to $1.5  million $59,500 8% $94,000 to $122,600 6 to 9 years 3.9/5.0

The Franchise Deck rating for the Underdog BBQ franchise is 3.7/5.0.


Conclusion: Will you buy the Underdog BBQ franchise for sale?

The underdog BBQ franchise has captured the attention of many thanks to its unique origin story on the Discovery show “Undercover Billionaire.” As the company sets its sights on expanding through franchising, it’s essential to keep an eye on developments and opportunities that may arise. While information about their franchise offerings is currently limited, the growth of Underdog BBQ could present an exciting investment opportunity for potential franchisees in the future. 

As the company continues to evolve, we eagerly anticipate more details about the franchise model, costs, and support provided to franchisees. For those interested in joining the Underdog BBQ family, it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest updates and be prepared to embark on this new and exciting entrepreneurial journey. 


Entrepreneurs who want to open a franchise in the BBQ restaurants can look at 


  1. Mission BBQ franchise 
  2. Sonic Franchise 
  3. Five Guys Franchise 
  4. Jack in the Box Franchise 
  5. Wendy’s franchise 
  6. Whataburger franchise
  7. Panera Bread franchise
  8. Cracker Barrel Franchise
  9. Sweetgreen Franchise
  10. Shipley Donuts Franchise
  11. Mini Donut Franchise

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Is the Underdog BBQ franchise profitable?

There isn’t specific information available about the profitability of these franchises. However, BBQ franchises can be profitable if you partner with the right franchisor.

  • Can you make money owning an Underdog BBQ?

While there’s no specific data on earnings from an Underdog BBQ, the success of a BBQ franchise depends on factors like location, marketing, and management.

  • Is Underdog BBQ a franchise?

There is mention of Underdog BBQ offering franchise information on their website, but it’s unclear whether they have started franchising their business.

  • How much is an Underdog BBQ franchise?

There isn’t any information available on the cost of this franchise.

  • How do Underdog BBQ franchises make money?

The details about how this franchise makes money aren’t available, but typically, BBQ franchises make money by selling food and beverages, catering services, and sometimes merchandise/


Published On: May 15th, 2023 / Categories: Blog, Food Franchise Opportunities /

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