As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Eater checked in with Austin’s defining restaurants to see how the pandemic has affected business, service models, and more. Next up in this series: Stacy Franklin, co-owner of little-known barbecue spot Franklin Barbecue.
How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting business right now?
Sales are down 27 percent.
What is the current service model?
We offer curbside orders, customers preorder from our website, and we deliver to the guest’s car in our parking lot.
Do you have any changes planned?
The curbside service model should suit our needs until it is safe to huddle together again.
Loro Dallas [Ed. note: Loro is Franklin co-owner and pitmaster Aaron Franklin’s Austin-based Asian smokehouse venture with Uchi’s Tyson Cole] is being constructed. Shooting for a spring or summer 2021 opening. Loro Houston will begin construction in early 2021 and finish hopefully in summer 2021.
What measures are you currently implementing to prevent the spread of COVID?
By only offering curbside, we have removed any possibility of staff and customer interaction. Our staff members remain spaced throughout our dining room, which now serves as a packaging area for our orders. All prep stations are spaced out to give the staff members the ability to remain distanced from other staff members. We continue to be very strict with hand-washing and food safety practices, including mask-wearing.
How has business been so far?
Weekends are far busier than the weekdays.
We started selling our Franklin BBQ pits in August of 2020 and will continue to ramp up more production in 2021.
Hot Luck [Ed. note: Franklin Barbecue’s food and music festival, which was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic] is working on a smaller scale, with big efforts to fundraise for the restaurant industry in 2021.