Creating a Happier Team with meez at 60+ City Barbecue Locations

City Barbecue

Fast Casual Restaurant Chain
Jessica Bogard
Senior Director of Culinary
Columbus, OH

In this case study:

With meez’s recipe platform, Creative Food Solutions is able to…

  • Efficient recipe management: meez provides a centralized and organized system for creating, managing, and sharing client recipes. This has significantly improved the efficiency of their recipe creation process.
  • Enhanced nutrition analysis: meez's ability to work with baker's and total ingredient percentages facilitates easier nutrition analysis, enabling the team to meet strict guidelines for clients, such as limiting sugar and calorie consumption.
  • Standardized recipes: Before meez, the team lacked a standardized recipe writing format, leading to inconsistencies and various versions of the same recipe. meez has revolutionized their approach by providing a uniform format, eliminating the need for Excel spreadsheets.


City Barbecue, founded in 1999 by Rick Malir, aims to dominate the barbecue category across the United States by opening 800 restaurants in the next 25 years. To help achieve its goal of consistent quality across all its current and future locations, City Barbecue has invested in meez as its all-in-one recipe management tool.

Jessica Bogard
“Our brand standard that we preach to the high mountains is our competition quality standards. That's our biggest thing and it's so hard to do if people are not following the same recipe. By bringing in meez’s recipe tool, we've allowed all of our restaurants to be able to have that consistency.”

Senior Director of Culinary Jessica Bogard, who leads menu development, recipe, and process improvement at City Barbecue, says the technology has been a no-brainer for the chain. Each joint has access to recipes via several tablets throughout each restaurant location. She can delegate who sees and changes recipes and says the searchability of recipes has all contributed to the success of City Barbecue. 

“We have more accessible checkpoints with tablets throughout the restaurant, so anybody who is prepping on our line or is in front-of-the-house doesn't have to run to the monitor to read what the recipe is and then run back to the station. I've heard nothing but rave reviews from our regional directors, market leaders, and general managers. I mean everyone's been praising and saying it's the best thing they've seen in a while and it’s what we needed.”

meez has allowed all of the company’s restaurants to have better access to recipes and improved accessibility to bilingual teammates. This has improved staff happiness levels overall.

A plate of barbecue meat from CityBarbecue including ribs, brisket, turkey, sausage, frieds, and rolls

Improving Competition Scores with meez

City Barbecue prides itself on its competition quality craft, smoking meat low and slow for 18 hours over locally sourced hickory, and running smokers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Since using meez, the company has also seen significant improvements in consistency and overall competition quality scores. 

“The job isn't as hard as it was before. Our service is smoother and our consistencies are going up. We were able to track scores before and after meez. Those that tested meat scored higher now than previously.” 

Rethinking Catering Operations

meez has also enabled City Barbecue to improve its catering operations. For the longest time, catering had been a secondary thought. There was no way to accurately prep for however many orders each location needed. But with meez, the company has more control

“People didn't want to do the math or know how to do it accurately. Now we're able to dial in our prep and prevent waste on the catering side because we can forecast a little bit better. meez has been a super helpful tool.”

Group of CityBarbecue team members lined up in front of building cutting a grand opening ribbon

Scaling Faster with meez

With a plan to go from 64 to 100 restaurants in the next two years, being about to streamline new joint openings with recipe onboarding and training is crucial to achieving this goal, said Bogard. With meez, new employees at City Barbecue are getting up to speed quickly and new joint openings have become more efficient. 

“We opened two restaurants on the same day for the first time ever, which was only made possible by having all recipes readily available. meez has really been a workhorse for us. It’s become a backbone for our business.”

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