2023 Wrap Up and Plans For 2024

What a year!! I absolutely love this team and what we get to do every day. 2023 proved to be a wild year for the Lane's BBQ team filled with lots of joy, some huge wins, and some pain sprinkled in as well. We have been so blessed with some insane growth over the past few years. This year was no different and it felt like we were trying to run a marathon each day… but we hadn't quite trained for one.

There are so many highlights from this year that come to mind:

  • Our trip to visit the Australian team which was absolutely amazing getting to visit the Lane's headquarters there and spending time with the team.
  • Our trip to Key West for the W Sauce BBQ Competition where we got to hang out with some of the biggest names in the BBQ world and eat some awesome food.
  • We released 2 sets of collaboration rubs - one set with @BamaGrillMaster (which has already won competitions!) and another set with Wild Willies just released in December.
  • We started recording our new podcast which will be released in early January...be on the lookout for those! We are super excited about the guests we have already recorded with and those coming up soon.
  • Turkey and brine season was NUTS! We loved packing and sending out all of those brines kits this year and look forward to another record breaking brine season next year!
  • Speaking of record breaking...This year was absolutely nuts with the number of products we sold and shipped! You can put a dollar figure with that but truthfully the reason why we do this is to create those flavorful meals where family and friends gather around the table and enjoy life. And there were a lot of those meals this year!

We stretched most of our systems we had implemented over the years and ended up even breaking a few of them. We had several new faces join us this year and unfortunately, we said goodbye to some as well. That can be one of the toughest parts of running a business. For me, it's all about the people. Our mission is to bring family and friends around the table to fellowship and share flavorful meals. However, if that doesn't start with our team, then it's tough to share our mission with each one of you. Most of the people on our team are family, friends or someone directly linked to our network. Which is great that we are connected when everything is going well, and you are succeeding together. However, it proves to be very painful when you hit some rocky soil and need to adjust roles or processes.

Change can be fun and exciting… but it can also be very challenging. Either way, it is happening, and you must attack it head on. If not, growth and change will take you down. I'm learning each day how to be a better communicator… mostly by making mistakes. Thankfully our team shows me a lot of grace! There are many days when I feel like I'm way over my skis, on a double black diamond, and going way too fast. Sometimes I'm ready to just hop off the chair lift at the bunny slope or just skip the slopes all together, grab a beverage, and jump in the hot tub. However, I really love the speed, the challenges, the team, and all of you. It gets us so fired up when we receive emails, texts, or messages through our social media channels of everything you are cooking. We absolutely love seeing them so please keep those messages coming!

On to 2024 - Not sure if y'all ever do a word(s) of the year. I never really have. However, I'm changing that in 2024 and I'm going with two of them. My words for this year are Prune & Fertilize. It's time to trim some of the tasks/projects that have been choking us and I really want to free up more of my time to pour into our team and focus on our strengths. God has truly blessed Lane's with an amazing team and some serious growth over the years. My goal is to make sure that we are stewarding those blessings to the best of our abilities.

I've been analyzing all the different projects that we have taken on and some of them just aren't in our wheelhouse. Simply stated… I tend to have had trouble saying no. Mostly this is out of my own fear that we wouldn't have enough business. Some projects/tasks can end up being huge distractions and saying yes to everything has been putting unnecessary strain on our team.

We already had to make one of those tough cuts in December. We have been doing Friday morning biscuits for the last several years. It's so much fun to see all the smiles on Friday morning and I knew that cutting it out would be tough on everyone. We have a small catering team that is straight crushing it, yet it was taking a village to keep up with the Friday morning biscuit demand. Which is what I most love about our team. They are truly selfless and will step up to help wherever they see a need. However, those same team members were having to come in on Saturday and Sunday to try and catch up on their regular jobs. Don't stress too much though… The overall goal is to bring back biscuits. We just need to simplify and rethink how it's done (don't hesitate to share your ideas with us). We always love an outside perspective.

I'm really excited for 2024 and can't wait to see what it has in store for the Lane's team. I can't wait to meet all the new people that God is going to bring to our team as it continues to grow. We have a podcast launching in January and have a few projects that we worked on in 2023 that will be rolling out in the first quarter. The plan is more consistent blog posts as well! Either way, it's time to buckle up again and get back after it. See ya soon!

Reading next

Lane's BBQ Biscuit Friday
Cooking with Riley Series - Parts 1 & 2


Todd Tolbert

Todd Tolbert

Tried the turkey brine kit for the first this Thanksgiving. It was the best smoked bird I’ve ever produced!

tony sebenaler

tony sebenaler

Thank You to everyone at Lanes, Quality rubs, sauces, brines and all the extras for great companies, the personalized notes in every shipment and of course the Recipes! Glad to be a supporter and share my experience with others with your products! Here’s to a great 2024!!!!

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