Jack Stack Barbecue
Kansas City thrives on barbecue. BBQ sauce runs in our blood, baked beans are a staple in every meal worth eating, and pulled pork actives our salivary glands like a light switch. In fact, we even have our own Barbeque Society (KCBS) with over 10,000 members worldwide. We had a chance to sit down with Jack Stack Barbecue’s four-year marketing manager, Kylee Markey, and ask her some questions about how Jack Stack manages to stand out in a crowd of delicious barbecue eateries around the area.
With a brand that’s prospered since 1957, you’ve gotta have a formula that works. Russ Fiorella began Jack Stack as a traditional barbecue storefront with a modest 5-item menu. In the past 20 years, they expanded their offerings to a full menu ranging from traditional barbecue to steaks, salads, and seafood. Recently, they have gotten back to their roots, cutting their menu down to focus on the items that made them a Kansas City staple (the ‘craveables’, as they call them). Jack Stack follows its missions statement to “create remarkable Barbecue experiences” by providing a level of excellence for people to remark on. They accomplish this by sticking to their 8 brand values which revolve around good service to their guests, excellence in their work and integrity as an employee.
Social Media and Content Marketing
Kylee says they’ve been utilizing social media to generate brand recognition and get their fans involved in the barbecue process. They share backstage peeks into what each location is working on, what’s on the pit that day, and how they’re getting involved in the community. They’ve built up a large following with high engagement on their social media platforms by incorporating content marketing into their social media. People love that Jack Stack is involved in all things Kansas City. According to Kylee:
“the content we share related to the Chiefs and Royals, or how great Kansas City is, get a lot of attention. People like to see that we’re passionate about the same things they are.”
In addition to community culture posts, they’ve made a lot of headway with user-generated content—people sharing their reviews, engaging in conversations on Twitter, and posting artistic photos of their food on Instagram. To give you a feel for their audience size, Jack Stack’s Facebook account has over 44,000 followers and is growing by the hundreds monthly! Kylee says that their fans like to see a brand like Jack Stack Barbecue share or engage with their personal content.
They’ve adapted their website to work smoothly on mobile devices, making it easy for users to access contact information and check out the menu from the convenience of their phone. Kylee admits that the ecommerce of portion of their site could use some work on mobile devices, but they’re excited to see what new fans they can draw in from a fresh PPC campaign.
This two-woman marketing team works out of out of the shipping warehouse that sends out Kansas City barbecue all over the country in Lenexa. With locations in Martin City, Overland Park, Freight House, Country Club Plaza and Lee’s Summit, you can enjoy Jack Stack Barbecue anywhere in the KC area. And, if you don’t want to change out of those comfy onesie pajamas, their online store delivers the goods right to your door.
Smoking the Competition
Kylee acknowledges that there’s some tough competition out there. With newbies like Char Bar and Q39 coming onto the scene and the ‘originals’ expanding their locations across the metro area, they’re constantly thinking of innovative ways to advertise their catering company, storefronts, and delivery service.
“We want to stay at the top of the players, among greats like Bryant’s, Gates, and Joe’s”
Jack Stack is currently in its third generation of the Fiorella family and continues to bring high-quality dishes to barbecue fans around the country. They have kept with their time-honored traditions and recipes, including their signature side dishes, Hickory Pit Beans and Cheesy Corn Bake.