Franklin Barbecue(Austin)-would you wait in line for five hours?

After reading reviews, I’d admit I might. But the point of this is about an NPR story detailing the entrepreneurs who cater to the people in line.

5-Hour Line Turns Barbecue Pilgrims Into Cash Cow For Locals

No, I wouldn’t wait that long. I think the longest I’ve ever waited for good barbecue was thirty minutes, probably not even that long. I used to go to Mueller’s out in Taylor, which is where Franklin got his start.

There’s a lot of good barbecue in the area, nothing is worth five hours of my life.

Not a chance. It’s a little easy for me to decide - I learned long ago that my tastes don’t tend to line up with popular opinion on many, many things. So any food that popular…probably isn’t going to be my favorite. Makes life easy sometimes.

I wouldn’t wait in line that long for anything.

If it’s more than ten minutes, I’m gone. I spent way too much time in lines in the military. There is no food (or anything else) on the planet worth that sort of wait.

I’ve waited in line for an hour at Joe’s Kansas City BBQ (formerly Oklahoma Joe’s), and it was definitely worth it. No way would I wait five hours though.

Not a chance. He isn’t that good. In 5 hours I could drive from Austin to Lockhart, eat at Smitty’s, pick up some take-out at Black’s, and drive back.

An hour or two if I am a tourist. Maybe a half hour if I live there. Never five hours.

I think I’ve waited 3-4 hours before. Won’t do that again, but if you’ve never had his 'que, it might be worth it. Once. Kind of like playing golf at Pebble Beach: stupid high greens fees, and you de facto need to get a room at either of the hotels in order to get a tee time, but it’s really, really good.

Me? I’d try LA Barbecue, or go wait in line Saturdays at Snow’s before that, mainly because I haven’t tried them yet. Or that trailer on E 6th that some bbq writer was raving about recently. I did find Franklin to be better than any of the Lockhart/Luling/Taylor group, but not five hours better. YMMV.

No. There’s no food I would wait for that long.

Their business model is inefficient if the lines are that long. Whatever publicity they’re gaining is nullified by the number of people who are going to walk away rather than wait that long for a sandwich.

At the very least, they should be capitalizing on this demand by expanding the kitchen and/or service staff so that they can cut the line from five hours down to an hour or less. At the most, it’s time to start aggressively franchising the brand concept, like Five Guys, Shake Shack, and Jimmy John’s have done to great success in the past decade.

I would not wait five hours to eat anywhere.

I think Franklin BBQ is doing exactly what the owner wants it to do. I am positive he has no interest in franchising and I think he enjoys working shorter hours than most restauranteurs work; he works until the brisket is gone and most days it doesn’t take very long. But, I guess Smapti has a better idea.

And no, I never waited in line for five hours for BBQ or anything else.

That’s kind of my attitude as well. If I was leaving from my in-laws house in Austin, I could hit Kreuz’s for takeout, Smitty’s for lunch, and then go to City Market in Luling and then to Louie Mueller’s in Taylor and back to the in-laws inside of 5 hours.

I would seriously start questioning my life’s priorities if this was something I considered doing.

I mean, I love food, don’t get me wrong. And I like good barbeque. But I can’t imagine anything being that delicious to justify standing in a line that long. Unless it had illegal substances in it.

Reading about the line-waiting entrepreneurs makes me think there’s an editorial cartoon about the “trickle-down” theory of wealth using barbecue sauce about to happen.

I was just there a couple weeks ago! Wait time: fifteen minutes (waiting for it to open.) You have to strategize these things. :slight_smile: The longest I’ve waited from arriving to being seated is two and a half hours at Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix back when there was only one location and they only had dinner hours. I hate lines, but this was worth it. Plus there’s a bar next door that, once they took your name, you can while away at. I think we arrived about an hour before opening and the line was already tremendous, so the strategy mentioned before would not have worked. Similar thing happened to a friend who really wanted to try Kuma’s in Chicago. I got there way early and it still was about two hours before we were seated. He lines at Hot Doug’s (specialty hot dog place) before it closed here in Chicaho were insane. Something like nine hours or more for the final day people were lining up.


I won’t wait one hour to eat anywhere. It’s one of my pet peeves. It made living in NYC a bit challenging sometimes.

I don’t, however, care too much about what it costs. So maybe I’d hire someone to wait in line for me and bring the food to me at home.

There are so many great BBQ places in central Texas, there’s no need to wait that long. Even if they are the best, the 2nd best place is very close and won’t have nearly the same wait. I guess most people go for the experience and so they can say they ate at the most famous place for BBQ.