Franklin Barbecue Bans Professional Spot-holders from Line

Franklin Barbecue bans line-holders

The Austin hot spot is known for its mile long lines

Franklin Barbecue is renowned for its legendary brisket and ribs. But the Austin hotspot is also known for its insanely long lines that can leave customers waiting for five hours or more.

The lines are so long that customers pay people up to $15 an hour to hold a spot for them on the line via services like Task Rabbit or Craigslist just so they can get a taste of Aaron Franklin’s legendary slow-cooked smoked meats.  Not only that, but some of these line holders invite other line holders to cut and together place massive orders.

The large orders and paid place holders have been taking their toll on the small business and earlier this summer, Franklin tweeted out a new policy that banned those who employ line waiting services

“Our policy for peeps who pay a line waiter - we don't allow 1 person to hold place for a group eating here. 1 person paid = 1 to-go order,” the pitmaster posted, urging people “to respect people who are waiting in line - violators to the policy get banned. @taskrabbit @CindyGautschi @AusMobConcierge @bbqfastpass.”

But, line waiters didn't take the new policy seriously. On Sunday, Franklin told local blog Austin360 that the problem has continued and they will now devote more time to enforcing the limit on paid waiters.

“It has gotten out of hand, and we owe it to the rest of our faithful customers to not allow the distraction,” the Franklins said in a statement to Austin360. “As the amount of line holders has multiplied, the large orders have begun to bog down the line. We prefer to serve our customers in house, and not to have a second party representing our food and brand.”

Stacy Franklin said that it’s still okay for people to wait in line and have a friend join them later but to be conscious of big groups.

“We still want our regular customers to limit the amount of joiners they have,” Stacy Franklin said. “Our normal customers are very conscious of this, but line holders continue to push the limits of what is fair for others."

Over the summer, Desmond Roldan, an entrepreneurial-minded middle schooler in the Austin area, started his own premium Franklin line waiting service BBQFastPass for $50 a pop. He tweeted that he was sad about the company’s decision but said he would respect the Franklins’ wishes.

“I respect the decision and I'm grateful for the opportunity to make BBQ wishes come true,” Roldan Tweeted. reached out to Franklin Barbecue for further clarification on how the restaurant will be enforcing the policy in the future.