By Dean Weingarten
Brooks says that it is “not a political thing”. I suspect he is right. It is a business thing. After the initial surge, the discount was reduced to 10%. From yourhoustonnews.com:
There is a place where Houstonians can get BBQ at a discount simply for exercising their right to openly carry their gun. The BBQ trailer located in the parking lot with ACE Hardware and Kroger on FM 529 is owned and operated by Trent Brooks. He opened the food trailer in 2009 after he lost his job. Brooks’ Place BBQ is a popular smokehouse trailer located in Cypress that awards its’ customers a 10 percent discount for carrying their gun to the establishment.
“We support the second amendment. We want to reward those who protect themselves, businesses, families, and neighbors,” said Brooks. “I’m a business man, not a politician. It’s not a political thing. “
For a BBQ business, you may have great product, but you have to find a way to let your potential customers know that you exist. Brooks Place has found a significant marketing niche. A discount that costs him little; gains fabulous publicity that he could not possibly afford to buy (articles were run about his business in the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times), and attracts his target market. Even Governor Abbott noticed, and sent out an approving tweet:
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 1, 2016
It is hard to see a Second Amendment friendly BBQ in Texas losing any significant business, while it is likely to bring in many customers. Controversy actually helps. An idiot threatened Brooks on facebook. From houstonpress.com:
A facebook post claimed “I’ll shoot up the place on Saturday. Let’s see how your gun toting patrons will stop me.
Brooks Facebook page is loaded with rave reviews and pictures of delicious looking meals. He appears to be doing very well.
A poor second to attracting customers is not driving them away. Most businesses can accomplish that by simply not posting any anti-Second Amendment signs. There may even be a few businesses that attract customers by putting up signs to offend Second Amendment supporters; but it is clear that Second Amendment supporters outnumber disarmists by 3-10 to one, as measured by online polls. Online polls may not be scientific, but they do a good job of measuring intensity. When you are worried about attracting or at least, not offending, customers, intensity is what is important.
Legislators are encouraging the trend to be neutral. In Texas and Arkansas, there are penalties for public officials who prevent people from exercising their Second Amendment rights without legal authority to do so. In Wisconsin and Kansas, a measure of immunity against lawsuit is gained if the business allows the carry of weapons.
More and more businesses are finding that being Second Amendment friendly is good business. There are numerous restaurants that offer discounts and a book store in Austin joined the ranks. Early adopters like Brooks Place receive a disproportionate share of the benefits.
c2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch
About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.