The Original Shane’s Rib Shack
- Before you started Shane’s, what were you doing?
I worked for a small cardiac monitoring company that has grown into what is today known as WebMD. My wife, Stacey, worked in radiology at a metropolitan hospital, where we met.
- When did you decide to make a career change and open a restaurant and what triggered that change?
In 2001 I was asked to relocate to West Palm Beach, Florida. After making a visit to Florida to look for a new place, I did not have peace about the decision. Something didn’t feel right. On the way home from that trip, Stacey and I passed the tiny little shack on the corner of East Lake and 155 in McDonough, GA and we saw the “For Rent” sign in the window. There was something about that place that just brought a peace to my heart.
- When did the first Shane’s Rib Shack open? In March of 2002, we took a leap of faith and opened up the “Original” Shane’s Rib Shack using my grandfather’s secret BBQ sauce recipe. Originally we were open only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, but the response from the community was so great that we soon opened up seven days a week.
- Why did you pick “The Original Shack” as the location for your first store?
I always knew I wanted to open up my own BBQ restaurant one day call it “Shane’s Rib Shack,” I just didn’t know how or when it was going to happen. When we drove by the building where “The Original” is now it just felt right.
- Had you or your wife ever run/ worked in the restaurant industry before?
Not really. Nothing on this scale. I think my passion for cooking combined with Stacey’s passion for taking care of people, is what has made Shane’s so successful.
Our “secret sauce” was passed down to me by Big Dad. He was my father-figure and we spent countless summers together creating, refining, and perfecting the sauce.
- What is your philosophy behind running your restaurant(s)?
Shane’s Rib Shack is not just your typical BBQ restaurant. Our main focus is to take care of our customers and to make an impact in the community. I believe that giving back is the single most important thing anyone can do to make our country stronger. I believe you give people more than they pay for and treats everyone like family.
- Where did your love of cooking/BBQ come from?
My granddad, Big Dad was in politics so we spent a lot of time entertaining and barbecuing. He taught me all I know about cooking. I love feeding people and making them happy.
- How did you develop your Shane’s Original BBQ Sauce?
Our “secret sauce” was passed down to me by Big Dad. He was my father-figure and we spent countless summers together creating, refining, and perfecting the sauce. I always joke that I am just happy that Big Dad gave me the recipe and not the rest of the family.Big Dad is no longer with us, but his principles still guide me and my family. He believed that every family has a “secret sauce” that gets handed down from one generation to the next. Sometimes it’s tangible (like your Aunt’s special pudding cake) and sometimes it’s intangible (like the way your father tells a story). Spending time together over really good BBQ is one way to discover your family’s secret sauce. So pull up a chair and enjoy a taste of history.
Spending time together over really good BBQ is one way to discover your family’s secret sauce. So pull up a chair and enjoy a taste of history.
- Describe how your family has played a part in growing the business.
We have four children; Shaina, Summer, Seth, & Slade. They have grown up embracing the same love for people that Stacey and I have demonstrated. Our daughter, Shaina, and her husband, Kyle, manage the “Original” Shack today. They have learned the business from the ground up and are proud to carry on the values that Shane’s was built upon. Both Stacey and I are still extremely involved in the business on a day-to-day basis and plan to continue to be for years to come.
- Tell us a little about the explosive growth Shane’s has experienced?
In 2004, we partnered with a large restaurant franchising company and began franchising and continued growing at a very rapid pace. As the business grew larger, it was important to me that the concept stayed true the key values upon which Stacey and I had found Shane’s Rib Shack. In 2012, we decided to bring the company back to its roots and move the corporate office back to Henry County where it began.Today, there are 72 Shane’s Rib Shack locations, located in 12 states through the U.S. Since becoming a franchised restaurant, Shane’s Rib Shack has grown to be the country’s model fast-casual BBQ concept.