First restaurant: 1989 in Leon Springs, Texas; first in North Texas was Denton in May 2004, followed by Frisco in 2007 and Arlington in October 2010
Total restaurants: 29
Company philosophy: The full name is Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q, and every location has both a restaurant and a gas station, which “makes us a little unique,” says Dallas resident Lauren Trajan, whose father, Robert Wolf, is the North Texas franchise owner. The menu is simple — meat by the half pound plus sandwiches, sides and desserts — and dining is casual and family-friendly.
Expansion plans: Because gasoline is part of the restaurant’s concept, “we require certain permitting, so it’s a little restrictive where we can go,” Trajan says. Rudy’s searches for at least one acre, usually closer to two, and always purchases land to build its store and restaurant. “We don’t lease,” she says. All of this adds up to difficulties in opening an urban location because urban land is usually built out. However, because Trajan lives in Dallas, opening a location here “is my hope. I can’t make any promises, but I’ll do my best.” Taking over a former gas station could be a possibility in the future, she says. “Nothing’s absolute, so we’ll try and make something work if we think it’s best for us.” The Dallas fan base is growing, but “it’s so far in the future I just don’t want to get excited about it,” Trajan says. One new restaurant every three years “is probably a good pace,” she says.