You could go a long way and not find a cooler niche business than this one: Derek Kipe, the Chair Guy, rents folding chairs to people standing in the legendary line for Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas.
Kipe charges $5 per rental, with a shade umbrella included at no extra charge. Renters get to use the chairs until they reach the barbecue entrance.
Of course, Kipe wouldn’t be in business if Franklin Barbecue wasn’t special.
In 2011, Bon Appetit named Franklin Barbecue the best barbecue spot in the country and said owner Aaron Franklin is “a BBQ genius.”
I first heard of Franklin Barbecue this morning from a friend of mine who was standing in line. He told me the first person in line got there at 6:01 a.m. Franklin opens at 11 a.m. and serves until they run out of food. They’re open Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Mondays.
Kipe got the idea for the chair business while standing in line at Franklin Barbecue. “I said, ‘Why isn’t anyone renting chairs?'”
The Chair Guy uses Facebook, and his page says he launched the Chair Guy business on November 1, 2012. He joined Facebook April 17, 2013.
Here’s a sampling of his posts.
Have a great Saturday. Enjoy the BBQ. As always comfort is key.
January 17, 2014
It’s going to be a great day. I’m here for you. I’m set up and ready to provide comfort. Enjoy your stay and some super BBQ.
Oct. 30, 2013
Have a good stay. No chair rental today. Mrs Chair Guy and I have new home dreams. I need attend. Hope to see you tomorrow.
Sept. 13, 2013
Have a great Friday the 13th. I’m set up, renting and ready. As always I’m here for your comfort. Free shade umbrella with chair rental.
Aug. 27, 2013
Chairs cleaned. I really feel a sense pride and it feels good. See you tomorrow.
July 22, 2013
Monday=maintenance. All chairs are in good shape. See you tomorrow.
Aaron Franklin is no slouch at social media. He uses YouTube for a series of high-quality videos titled, “BBQ With Franklin.” Check out the brisket episode: