Patrick Pepper has always been motivated by tackling missions head on and accomplishing tasks as they pop up. From his experience in the U.S. Marine Corps to running his own construction business, he’s no stranger to being a leader. But now, through his role as a co-owner behind the emerging franchise concept Chicken in a Barrel, he’s using his leadership skills in a much different capacity.
Founded in 2010 on the Garden Island of Kauai, Hawaii by Michael Pierce, Chicken in a Barrel is built on a foundation of two things: a love of barbecue and a love of God. Together with his family, including his business partner Brent Bierma, Pepper has helped the brand grow from one roadside location to an expanding franchise opportunity that’s actively bringing its concept to the mainland. But according to Pepper, Chicken in a Barrel’s success can be attributed to more than its unique “Smoked Barbecue” approach that serves freshly cooked meat from a barrel right off the hook. Instead, it’s the brand’s sense of community that’s ultimately moving its concept forward.
“When we first launched Chicken in a Barrel, we didn’t know anything about running a restaurant. While our family has its fair share of entrepreneurs, we really decided to go into business together because it’s what we love to do,” said Pepper. “Now that we’ve figured out the ins and outs of the industry, there’s really no limit to what we can accomplish. We’re all bonded by our passion for this brand, and we’re eager to share that with more franchisees.”
With one location currently in development in Santa Barbara, California, it’s clear that Chicken in a Barrel’s unique culture is already catching on among other aspiring business owners. As that trend continues and the brand expands, Pepper says that their team is focused on making every member feel like a part of their extended family. By creating a network of like-minded people who share the same passion for the Chicken in a Barrel brand, it will boost its awareness among prospective business owners and consumers alike.
“When it comes to being an effective leader, you need to be your brand’s biggest advocate. If you don’t believe in your brand or have a clear goal, neither will your employees or franchisees. That’s why our system is designed to give our owners—and their employees—the tools and skills that they need to be successful,” said Pepper. “By taking the time to get to know every member of our team on a personal level, we’re able to identify their strengths and weaknesses so that we can work with them to find their best path forward. That willingness to help one another out is why I’m thrilled to be a part of the Chicken in a Barrel team, and I’m going to continue riding the wave as we grow.”
That strong wave and momentum is being fueled by Chicken in a Barrel’s clear vision. The owners behind the team are all on the same page when it comes to what’s next for the brand, from ongoing expansion efforts to giving back to the local communities it calls home. And according to Pepper, that commitment to working towards a common goal is instrumental to the brand’s success.
Without having an end game in mind, it’s difficult for franchisors—and their franchisees—to stay motivated. In fact, the lack of long-term vision for a brand is often what causes aspiring entrepreneurs to call it quits. But through strong leadership and an ongoing reminder of what you’re working towards, entrepreneurs have the potential to see success.
“Don’t quit or give up on your goals. There are so many obstacles that we face on a daily basis, both in business and in life. But overcoming them comes back to believing in your vision,” Pepper said. “If running a business and being a leader was easy, everyone would do it. That’s why so many people often give up on their dreams prematurely. But success is failure turned inside out, and leaders are just ordinary people who do extraordinary things. You have to persevere beyond the hardships in order to make leadership a rewarding experience.”