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#061: Talking Barbecue and Business with Chad Ward of Traeger Grills – Whiskey Bent BBQ

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Chad Ward – Director of BBQ Marketing for Traeger Grills – @WhiskeyBentBBQ  – Lakeland, FL

Podcast recorded above the butcher shop at Valley Farm Market in Spring Valley, California.


  • Chad Ward is the Director of BBQ Marketing for Traeger Grills, an Entrepreneur & a BBQ talk show host with network TV appearances on NBC, FYI, Travel Channel & Food Network.
  • How Traeger Grills focused on the added value for the consumer and built off the existing foundation of passionate brand ambassadors to establish a strong community.
  • Not satisfied with a career in software, Chad joined Traeger so he could positively impact people’s lives while being able to do what he loved.
  • Building a relationship not a transaction ticket by focusing on creating an in-store experience that positions you as a community resource.
  • Finding the right employees who have a vested interest in the business and empowering their growth.
  • Choosing the right growth opportunity and squeezing the most out of your first location before choosing to expand.
  • Chad’s evangelizing the reverse-sear method is changing the way people prepare steak and got him mentioned on the Joe Rogan Experience.

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Chad Ward




Steve Austin Podcast Appearance

Chad on the Dan Patrick Show

Chad Mentioned on Joe Rogan Experience

Traeger Grills





Traeger BBQ


Traeger Culinary

Traeger Ambassador Team


Rub Bagby

Otay Sales

Snake River Farms

Food Saver

@BBQWarStories Weekly Social Shout Out:


Winner of a sexy new #BehindTheSmoke Mug.

Be sure to tag @bbqwarstories in all your #BehindTheSmoke photos and interact with the podcast on social for your chance to win.

Remember…if we can’t tag you then we can’t pimp you.

Shareable Quotes From This Podcast:

  • “The biggest thing for us is consistency. If you don’t have that in a BBQ restaurant you’re gonna be out of business really quick.” {8:43} – Derek Marso
  • “When the opportunity presents itself to do something that you love, you have to take advantage of it.” {10:02} – Derek Marso
  • “When we start these brands it’s our name so you’re super protective over it but for the business to grow you have to get outside help in areas you’re not strong in.” {18:35} – Chad Ward
  • “We’re there to educate the customer not just to say ‘anything you want, we carry.’” {24:15} – Chad Ward
  • “Social media is not all a followers game. You can have a ton of followers and crap engagement… What matters in social media is the engagement with your audience.” {33:57} – Chad Ward

Get in Touch:

Shawn P. Walchef –  @shawnpwalchef  on Twitter

Derek Marso – @marsoderek on Twitter

Cory Wagner – @iamcorywagner on Twitter

Bryan Abou Chacra – @kinglordbryan

Behind The Smoke Media

Valley Farm Market – 9040 Campo Road, Spring Valley, CA 91977

Cali Comfort BBQ – 8910 Troy Street, Spring Valley, CA 91977

Honorable Mentions & BBQ Business Resources:

Behind The Smoke Media BBQ Business Resources

3rd Annual Turf & Surf BBQ Championship @DelMarRacing #BETonBBQ

9th Annual Spring Valley Tailgate & BBQ Festival #SVBBQFest

BBQ Pits & Grills we use at Cali Comfort BBQ & Valley Farm Market

Restaurant Operations Resources:

BBQ Business Resources:

Behind The Smoke: BBQ War Stories Logo Branding – Design & Strategy by Ricoy Creative

Thank you to Jet West Band for our intro and outro. 

Get Involved & Stay Curious….

About the author, Bryan Abou Chacra

Passionate about all aspects of media production with over 15 years experience.

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