I have also been exploring the idea of a BBQ place, but it would be my 4th or 5th addition, depending on how you look at it...lol. I would be glad to discuss ideas with you.
I also have a friend that is looking at Bad Bob's BBQ franchise. I am somewhat impressed with his offering and concept, but don't think it would work in NC, but you may want to consider it. Also look at the Rib Tips as an appetizer.
The thing I have noticed about BBQ places and professional BBQ people, they are all conceited, they think they have the best bbq, the best sauce, the best slaw, etc. etc. Truth be known they are probably only appealing to the segement of people that agree with him/her. Everyone's taste vary on BBQ.
My idea would be simple. Send the Q out on a plate with generous portions. Then have a buffet bar to where the customer can chose their sides...baked potato, fries, corn, baked beans, onion rings, hushpuppies, etc.
This would allow another thing that would be unique. I would have several different types of sauces....mild, smokey, hot, sweet, vinegar based...etc There would also be a selection of coleslaws...regular slaw, marinated slaw, bbq slaw and maybe a hot slaw.
You would save labor costs by doing this, but of course increase food costs, but i think the trade-off would be well worth it. If you have a good high quality meat, and a great selection of sauces then you will to a much larger audience.
If you want to talk...my e-mail is email@example.com