Great Grandson Injects High-Tech Into High-Heat Family BBQ Business

Wireless technology makes for smoother operations and tastier food.

By Chuck Hamby on June 17, 2013

Mike Murdock Jr. knows barbeque has to be cooked just right. So the new manager of The Pig BBQ in Jacksonville, Fla., constantly worries about the pork, beef and chicken that’s grilling and smoking at his family-owned restaurant. 

“I have a lot of responsibilities to make sure the business runs smoothly, and I found myself constantly sneaking back to the fire pit and smoker to make sure thePig BBQ Small Business Week food was cooked at the perfect time and temperature,” Murdock said. “Nobody likes dry, tough barbeque.”

Murdock found a high-tech solution to the high-heat pressure of grilling with the iGrill meat thermometer.

The device sends precise temperature readings, timer alarms and other information to Murdock’s 4G LTE smartphone and tablet, so whether he’s in the business office, out welcoming customers or anywhere in the restaurant, he can still keep an eye on food preparation. The app features Facebook integration so Murdock can keep restaurant fans updated on what’s cooking.

Murdock is researching other wireless solutions such as machine-to-machine (M2M) remote video monitoring, tableside tablet technology and more for the five Pig BBQ locations around the Jacksonville area. These high-tech solutions help modernize the company Murdock’s great grandfather founded in 1955.

“I’m trying to bring a little science and technology to a very traditional operation, along with some social media to connect with customers,” said Murdock, who worked in the insurance industry before recently joining the family business.

“We’ve been doing a lot right, to be voted Best BBQ in Jax and to thrive in the restaurant industry for almost 60 years,” said the fourth-generation BBQ boss. “But new wireless technology can help even a country-cookin’ barbeque business.”