Franklin Barbecue

Customers stand in line at the world-famous Franklin Barbecue in Austin. (Photo ©Tom Fox(

Yes, public transportation and a solid workforce are important, but don’t overlook the Amazon BBQ factor as the online shopping giant decides where to put its much heralded, and much sought after, second headquarters, HQ2.

After reviewing the list of 20 finalists that Amazon recently released, the Posse thinks world class barbecue might just give an edge to Austin. A total of nearly 240 communities made bids to Amazon, based in Seattle.

There is obviously great barbecue in the city of Austin, including Franklin Barbecue. But what really got the Posse thinking about the Amazon BBQ factor was noticing that Austin’s bid includes tracts of land in Buda and Kyle, just south of the city and just 25 minutes from Lockhart, often called the barbecue capital of Texas and the world.

That’s close enough for some spontaneous brisket brainstorming sessions for Amazon employees at places like Kreuz Market, Smitty’s Market, Black’s and Chisholm Trail. Those could be some very productive meetings, boosting the Amazon BBQ factor and its importance to the HQ2 decision.

Aside from Dallas, which also made the top 20, other finalists don’t have nearly as strong barbecue traditions as Austin.

There are lots of pretenders, though. Three of the top 20 locations are in and around Washington, D.C. The Washington Post, owned by Jeff Bezos who also controls Amazon, ran a story last year about the top 10 barbecue joints there. The top two had strong Texas ties: Hill Country and Texas Jack’s. Why settle for knockoffs when you can have originals?

Toronto, even though it’s in Canada, also made Amazon’s list of 20 finalists. One of the top joints there is Adamson Barbecue, which touts on its homepage: “we make Central Texas style barbecue.”

So if Austin gets HQ2, remember the Amazon BBQ factor and where you heard it first.

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