How Passion Turned Chaps Pit Beef into a Rapidly Growing BBQ Franchise

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To truly be successful at anything, you need to have a passion for what you are doing. Whether it is being a parent, a career, or volunteer service for an important cause, you devote yourself to it because you believe in what you are doing.

Passion is what turned Chaps Pit Beef into a rapidly growing BBQ franchise. It all started with a gift and a leap of faith.

Back in May of 1987, Gus Glava built the original Chaps Pit Beef on the grounds of his Southwest-themed nightclub on Pulaski Highway in Baltimore as a wedding gift for his daughter Donna and son-in-law Bob Creager who was working in a steel mill at the time.

Glava had already been serving pit beef at his bar, Gus’ Manor Inn which is located in Dundalk, Maryland and knew his new son-in-law loved to cook so thought it would be a great career transition for Creager.

The original stand was basically a 12 x 15 shack that shared the food license and even electricity with the nightclub. It was the most basic setup that could be with no restroom and only enough room to prep and cook the food. The plan was that Bob would cook and Donna would manage the staff.

Bob took a leap of faith and left his job at the steel mill and devoted himself to creating the perfect pit beef sandwich.
In Baltimore when you say barbecue what you really mean is Baltimore pit beef which basically is barbecued beef that is crusty on the outside and juicy and almost rare on the inside. The meat is shaved into thin strips and heaped high on a sandwich. People come far and wide for a Baltimore pit beef sandwich. Most of the time top round is used instead of brisket which is the favorite in a lot of the other styles.

The bread also adds to the tastiness of the sandwich. Pit Beef is served on a Kaiser Roll or Rye Bread which gives an earthy flavor to the sandwich. What else makes this such a signature Baltimore dish is the sauce. Unlike other regions which use a mix of ketchup, brown sugar or vinegar to give the meat its flavor, the sauce used with Baltimore pit beef has horseradish sauce in it, which keeps the customers coming back for more.

Through Bob’s devotion to his craft, Chaps Pit Beef is one of the pioneers of modern day Baltimore pit beef. Chaps “Baltimore Style BBQ” method is what made their original pit beef sandwich so famous. To make a Classic Pit Beef sandwich, Bob Creager and his staff uses a bottom round roast flat cut from the hind quarters which are a tougher, but more flavorful cut. They trim the gristle and silver off the meat and then applies a dry rub of different herbs and spices like paprika, salt and pepper, thyme and onion powder. He then lets it sit overnight and in the morning he puts it on an open pit of burning hardwood charcoal that gets to gets to about 400 to 500 degrees.

Once the beef has a nice crust on the outside and is tender on the inside, he slices it in ribbons and puts it back on the pit so he can cook to order for each of his customers. He always make sure to spread the meat around to add some char and flavor to it. Next he shaves the meat and piles it high on a kaiser roll and adds whatever fixings the customer wants, including Chaps’ special tiger sauce which is a mixture of mayonnaise and extra hot horseradish. The food is always cooked to order.
The family love and the blood, sweat and tears that went into building this business really resonates with people and that is what has helped their original shack grow into a rapidly growing BBQ franchise. Now they have several locations and are continuing to grow.

BBQ restaurants are a unique type of restaurants and it is important to have a passion for serving the best BBQ if you want to be successful. Here are the 3 top reasons why BBQ franchises are a good investment.

Barbecue Joints Are a Meat Lover’s Dream

Barbecued meats are a meat lover’s dream so a barbecue franchise will always be a sure hit, because who doesn’t love a good barbecue? And if you pick the right franchise with a varied menu, you will also have good options for customers who want to avoid red meats or who prefer fish.

There are also a lot of different styles of barbecue so it is easy to find the one that speaks to you the most. Think about the area where you want to set up shop and get a sense of what type of barbecue is most popular there.

No Cookie Cutter Franchises Here

When people think of franchises, they first picture fast food burger joints that sell typical fare like burgers, French fries and milkshakes. By choosing a bbq franchise instead, you will be able to offer your customers a totally different culinary experience that they will love, but still get the quick service they desire.

Also with a BBQ franchise, you will get to be more creative in planning your menu and don’t have to stick to cookie cutter dishes. That is the great thing about barbecue. There are so many nuances when it comes to cooking the meat just right and adding the right blend of sauces to get the mouthwatering result you were hoping for. It takes a lot of skill and is a true art form so you will never feel like you are a factory and not a true restaurant.

You Get a Built In Support Structure

Another reason that BBQ joints are the best money making franchises is because they provide you with a strong support structure to help you be as successful as possible with your new business endeavor. Not only will the franchisor help you launch your new restaurant, they also provide ongoing support as well.

This can be a good or bad thing though depending on your personality. If you don’t like having to follow a certain preset criteria, this might not be the best path for you. Again though if you are new to running a  bbq franchise, you will probably appreciate all the extra guidance.

To learn more about our story at Chaps Pit Beef, call us or message us today.

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