Richmond barbecue tour company shifts into gear

Ryan Martin (still left) and Greg Hofbauer released RVA BBQ Excursions previously this thirty day period. (Picture courtesy Kelly Powers/RVA BBQ Excursions)

A new food items touring firm hopes to give local barbecue its because of – and it has considered up a way to operate social distancing into the combine.

RVA BBQ Tours introduced this thirty day period, roaming all over the Richmond location to introduce tour-goers to lesser-identified purveyors of smoked meats.

Founders Greg Hofbauer and Ryan Martin recognized the startup to much better elevate the region’s barbecue eating places, a section of the restaurant scene they believed has been remaining out of the hype that surrounds Richmond’s growing track record as a culinary hub.

“As Richmond’s foodstuff scene acquired even larger and more substantial, I observed barbecue wasn’t represented as much,” Martin claimed.

With the coronavirus creating their preliminary strategy of bus excursions unappetizing, the corporation produced a caravan-fashion design in which tour individuals provide their personal motor transportation. The guided excursions characteristic stops at various area eating places, the place tour members sample barbecue. Alongside the way, men and women on the tour hear to podcasts with the showcased restaurants’ pit masters.

Tickets are $25 for each person for people 11-17, and $59 for people 18 and up. Excursions previous about two or three hrs dependent on their measurement, and contain 3 dining places.

The corporation declined to title the unique dining establishments, partly due to the fact the eateries are issue to modify and the practical experience of visiting lesser-identified places is section of the pitch to consumers.

The principle had been in the is effective considering that past year, just before the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in March this year designed bus excursions a difficult market. That virtually killed the notion right up until the organization established the caravan strategy.

“I virtually shelved the enterprise mainly because we figured no a single would want to be on a bus, and then the lightning bolt hit,” Hofbauer explained.

The company’s to start with general public tour took location July 18. Excursions just take place weekly on Saturdays, and Hofbauer mentioned they are interested in increasing the frequency if the demand from customers is there.

RVA BBQ Tours was founded to give folks a flavor of the Richmond area’s barbecue scene. (Courtesy RVA BBQ Tours)

Hofbauer reported portion of the attract for dining places is that the tours get spot 1-3:30 p.m., bringing in business all through normally quieter hrs. The firm pays entire value for the food items tour-goers try to eat.

Martin and Hofbauer are the only workforce, and hope to insert just one or two a lot more tour guides by calendar year-finish. They’ve invested a very little considerably less than $5,000 in the corporation so far.

Martin works as a house inspector for Progress Property Inspections. He claimed since his working day work involves a lot of driving about town, he discovered about the region’s dining establishments all through lunch breaks. Martin used 15 a long time performing in the cafe company prior to that.

Hofbauer owns the website style and design firm Hofbauer Consulting and also teaches at VCU. He formerly served as director of innovation at ChamberRVA and ran the Little Business enterprise Development Center.

Elsewhere amongst barbecue dining establishments, Hogshead Cafe moved into a larger house not much from its earlier site on West Wide Road in Henrico County previously this yr. Jadean’s Smokin’ 6 O, a cell kitchen, manufactured the bounce into a brick-and-mortar cafe in March.

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