COVID-19 has had significant repercussions on many businesses in Southeast Queensland, but a new Logan eatery is thriving amid the pandemic.
It’s Good BBQ, located in Daisy Hill, is owned and operated by Brian Dean, a Canadian chef with more than 25 years of culinary experience.
The American-style barbeque restaurant and takeaway officially opened its doors on July 8 this year, at a time when other small businesses in the area were preparing to close theirs.
According to a recent report by the Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment, the majority of businesses have been heavily impacted by the pandemic, primarily by the decreased demand for goods and services resulting in reduced cash flow and cutting of staff.
But while many small businesses struggled, Mr Dean said he felt very fortunate to have experienced great success in his business from the start and was ecstatic to sell out of food every day in his first five days of business.
“Opening the shop was quite a gamble… but I was one of the lucky ones to cash in on COVID-19 rather than have it throw me off,” Mr Dean said.
“I’m most proud I’ve been able to start the business in the shop without mortgaging myself into oblivion… this shop will always be the exception more than the rule, as far as early success goes,” he said.
It’s Good BBQ is located in the Allamanda Drive at the Daisy Hill Centre, which is a well-established shopping centre.
Brian’s wife Tracey Dean, who owns a hair salon in the same centre, said the barbecue restaurant’s success was due to simply being in “the right place at the right time”.
Ms Dean said they were fortunate to know the history of the centre and its location before leasing the space.
“Depending on the business, the biggest advice I can give [to anyone] is really know your area – do your research, look at the environment, demographic, competition, price point… and target audience,” she said.
“I also think one of our advantages is that Brian is a qualified chef… anyone can open a takeaway shop, but the fact that he is trained… means our food is at a different standard.”
Since opening, the shop has attracted a lot of attention in the community and locals are thrilled to have a thriving new business in the area.
Local resident and regular customer Britta Petersen said the shop had brought variety to the food options available in the Daisy Hill shopping centre, and said she believed the business had true potential to flourish long after COVID-19.
“It’s Good BBQ is unlike any other food shop we’ve had in the area – the food is delicious and good value for money, the staff are incredibly welcoming and the atmosphere is great,” Ms Petersen said.
Prior to opening the shop, Mr Dean operated It’s Good BBQ out of a food truck that travelled to a number of public spaces to find customers, such as markets, parks, and musical festivals.
But he said his opportunities for work had been almost entirely reduced when the pandemic hit and restrictions were placed on public gatherings.
“Looking back, the food truck was a lot harder than being in the restaurant – 80 per cent of the work went into loading up, setting up, unloading, and cleaning,” Mr Dean said.
“The biggest struggle… was lots of wastage… and we were at the mercy of things like weather and holidays, so it was very sporadic and there wasn’t a regular flow of guests coming through,” he said.
Tracey Dean said they felt very fortunate for the business opportunities they had been given during COVID-19, and said she was incredibly proud of the sacrifices Brian had made, and continued to make, on a daily basis to ensure the highest quality of service and food was provided to their customers.
“Brian has a great product, and the good thing is, as the business evolves, we can evolve… and do anything, get creative,” she said.
Mr Dean said it was important to remain honest and transparent in order to work through the pandemic and said he sympathised with other small business owners who had struggled due to the pandemic, particularly those in the hospitality industry.
“If you’re struggling, take a good look at what you’re doing and ask yourself if there are ways you can prove efficiency so that you’re getting more out of what you’re doing,” he said.