Swing by a Mission BBQ restaurant at noon, and you’ll be surprised to find all patrons standing in respect as the national anthem is played over a loudspeaker.
“We call it the best two minutes of the day,” says manager Steve Lippert. “No one’s thinking about their food.”
This is just one way in which Mission BBQ differentiates itself from all the other BBQ restaurants across the country. The restaurant, started by businessmen and best friends Bill Krauss and Steve Newton, was based on the idea of giving back to those who have served their country.
Mission BBQ currently serves 13 locations across Maryland; Virginia; North Carolina and York, Pennsylvania. The restaurants are adorned with posters, mementos and photographs that reflect the sacrifice and courage of military, police and fire and rescue personnel. The restaurant was opened on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Krauss, a former employee of Under Armour, and Newton, who worked at Outback Steakhouse, wanted to open an American-style BBQ restaurant that applauded the service of millions of veterans and service members. “Here was our chance to serve. Here was our chance to give back, to say thank you,” says Krauss to Hampton Roads.
The restaurant supports a number of service-related charity organizations, including the Wounded Warrior Project, United Service Organizations, Honor Flight Network and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
Mission BBQ’s dedication to patriotism does not mean they neglect their food, however. Their menu includes brisket, pulled pork and chicken, ribs and sausage, which is described by the Baltimore Sun as, “a better option than many other chain restaurants and fast food joints nearby….Mission will be serving good barbecue for years to come.”