NEW ORLEANS – VooDoo BBQ & Grill franchise has grand plans for 2012. The Louisiana-based barbecue restaurant concept will build on momentum from 2011 with grand openings plans in three additional states as well as unveiling a new look for the eateries.

"VooDoo BBQ had an exciting year in 2011, and we plan to build on that momentum in the New Year," said Tony Avila, chief executive officer. "We'll be opening our first locations outside Louisiana early in 2012, and we're optimistic that it will lead to franchise opportunities in exciting new markets. Diners can expect brighter, airier, more open restaurant buildings, too."

Among the highlights, VooDoo BBQ will open in Greenville, SC, its first location outside Louisiana. The new opening represents the first stage of an eight-unit expansion in the Carolinas, according to the company. Franchises are also planned for Texas and Florida, two other states hosting multi-unit VooDoo expansions, by mid-year.

Avila said the company has a growth goal of about 10 agreements with new franchisees in 2012. "We've been very deliberate about growing our business the right way — making sure we have solid systems and home office stability in place before launching major expansions," he said.

Finally, a new restaurant design is in the works featuring an open kitchen concept and additional seating.

VooDoo BBQ opened its first location in 2002 and has expanded to 53 locations in six states. The company serves what it calls competition-style barbecue beef, pork and chicken.