Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

March 4, 2013

BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL: First rule of a superior, drive-through restaurant: Mobility, mobility, mobility

Restauranteur hopes to cater to the needs of the trucking industry

JACKSONVILLE — Ronald Gary Smith – a veteran restaurateur and chef with 40 years of experience in the food industry – is adding a new ingredient to his culinary arsenal: Increased mobility for larger vehicles not immediately available at other area eateries.

In roughly a month, Smith, owner of Smith's Bar-B-Que, is opening his second mobile barbecue stand at a lot across the street from 2026 S Jackson St  (along U.S. 69). He will serve lunches and dinners there on Fridays, Saturdays (and, eventually, Thursdays) at this new location. Smith's business also will sport an extended and expanded catering service.

Extremely confident now that he has this  new "mobility" business ace up his sleeve, Smith, 56, is making moves –  including increasing his public profile. He formally joined the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce on Monday.

Smith said his new parking lot allows a wealth of  room for larger trucks to pull off the road, drive up and get their food with minimum hassle. The new stand, like the previous one, will offer brisket, ribs and sausage in varying amounts topped with the Smith trademark barbecue sauce.

Smith, who describes that sauce as "the best in East Texas," said making room for larger vehicles is the definite key to success.

"There's nothing in Jacksonville like what I have – accessibility to trucks and the trucking industry in general," he said. "The amount of customers I can bring in will be much greater because trucks can pull over and circle the parking lot – they'll drive in, like at McDonald's or Taco Bell, but it will be easier for them. Everything is much more accessible."

Meanwhile, Smith said he expects to keep working out of his current location in the parking lot of Bolton Street Christian Church, 702 N Bolton St. even after the new stand is built. It is there he will prepare all catering meals in the future, he said.

Until the new stand is built, all Smith's business will be conducted at the Bolton location from 11 a.m. until roughly 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Smith, a licensed food service manager, expects to put in quite a bit of work on the construction of his new, 240-foot trailer – which, he said, should pop up some in the parking lot at some point next month.  

Smith's business  phone number is (903) 944-0036. Email is mrgsmith57@yahoo.com

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