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LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue Built a Community of 50K Followers. Here’s How.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Evan LeRoy, co-owner of LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue, is crafting boundary-breaking menu items and innovative social media at the same time.

Recognizing a branding potential beyond mere views and clicks, his restaurant business focuses on crafting videos, podcasts, and more content with value.

For the talented team behind LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue in Austin, TX, social media isn’t about just promoting their innovative New School BBQ menu items. “It’s really about building up community,” Evan LeRoy tells host Shawn Walchef of Cali BBQ Media.

Viewing various social media channels as opportunities for education, Evan LeRoy emphasizes adding value with each post. The online community then extends to in-person interactions, as enthusiasts end up visiting Austin to try their food. This creates a self-fulfilling cycle of engagement and community.

“The people who do come to visit us at the classes engage on the Discord and on the Patreon,” he explains. “They interact with each other and share recipes, secrets, tips and everything with each other.”

LeRoy sees sharing content as storytelling and a potent marketing tool that generates income. For Leroy & Lewis, every recipe is not just a culinary experiment, but a business strategy.

“If you make a brisket, film it, and serve it to thousands, you’re going to make money on that two times,” says LeRoy. “It’s also marketing and advertising for your business. That pays for you. You don’t have to pay for marketing and advertising.”

On Patreon, hundreds of LeRoy and Lewis subscribers give money every month to support the business and get access to video features and more access. The team shares recipes, behind-the-scenes footage, and more exclusive educational content while drawing in thousands of dollars a month in additional revenue.

As Leroy and Lewis continues to grow beyond its origins as a food truck, LeRoy recognizes the importance of efficiency. The utilization of proper restaurant technology to overcome bottlenecks and streamline operations has become a priority to ensure they continue to provide new-school barbecue and old-school service.

“We have bottlenecked a lot recently,” admits LeRoy. “We are trying to use technology to kind of disperse the food as fast as we can to all the different people.”

Evan LeRoy’s innovative approach to content creation and BBQ is about finding the intersection of culinary and community.

“We’re all just telling a story, right? And there are so many other tools to tell those stories.”

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