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Q39 BBQ in Kansas City: Powering the Best Barbecue with Tock

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By Sophie Brochu

Back in 2014, Q39 took Kansas City by storm with their chef-driven, national-championship barbeque. With two locations and nearly a decade under their belt, Q39 continues to serve up some of the best ‘cue in the city, while using Tock to manage reservations, project costs, and understand guest flow. We caught up with chef Philip Thompson to see just how he’s using Tock to achieve his goals.

What makes Q39 a Kansas City staple?
Q39 is chef-driven, competition-quality barbecue that really gives our guests a taste of the barbecue that Kansas City is known for.

How do you use Tock at your restaurants?

We utilize Tock to plan how many pounds of meat we are smoking for the next day—it’s a vital tool to help us ensure we are consistently serving fresh barbecue. It’s also a fantastic tool for planning schedules and helping us achieve our labor goals.

What features are most important to you?

Understanding guest flow and turn times are vital to the success of our business.

How do you plan out your day with multiple restaurant locations?

We plan our day based on our business needs. It’s important to understand where we have to be and when. If we have big events going on at one location or if there’s something happening in the city, that means one location will see a greater influx of business.

Q39 is known for their wood-fired, grill techniques.

What challenges are restaurants facing right now?

Rising labor and food costs continue to be a focus. We work to manage those costs, while staying competitive with our guests on pricing. We have a very holistic approach, where we utilize all of our barbecue components in other dishes to minimize waste.

“Tock allows us to analyze our business in greater detail and better serve our guests needs.”

How does Tock make running your business easier? 

Tock allows us to analyze our business in greater detail and better serve our guests needs.

How do you utilize your guest data for marketing?

We look at trends, read our guests feedback, and respond accordingly. It’s important that we understand what our guests are looking for and how to best tailor our marketing towards that.

What are three things every successful restaurant needs?

Passion for great food. Whatever you are serving, make it the best. Customer focus: listen to your guests’ needs and respond to them. And last, a great team. Continually investing in your team and building a great culture is vital.

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