Texas’ Attorney General backs barbeque restaurants in weight wars


Barbeque places such as Austin’s The County Line can continue to cut and weigh their meat out of view from customers; overturning Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s wants. After reviewing a law dubbed the “BBQ bill,” that was passed last year, Attorney General Ken Paxton sided with the barbeque restaurants. 

Currently, restaurants must weigh meat on a scale registered with the state. Sid Miller said those scales must also be in public view so take-out customers know what they’re getting.

Skeeter Miller, the owner of The County Line, says the idea of not giving customers what they paid for is offensive.

“The feeling that we’re going to cheat our customers with the amount of food we put on their plate. We can’t be in business for 43 years doing business that way. If anything, we’re putting more food on the plate than what our portions say,” says Skeeter Miller.

Lawmakers tried to exempt places like The County Line that would have to rearrange its entire restaurant so customers can see the scales. But, the Department of Agriculture only exempted restaurants where all the food was consumed “on the premises.” 

Paxton says the Department of Agriculture added a restriction after the law was passed, therefore, restaurants can be exempt from having scales front and center. 

A spokesperson for Sid Miller said he will take Paxton’s opinion “under advisement” and decide how to move forward.

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