Taste of Austin brings Franklin Barbecue to campus without wait time

Nicole Stuessy

While a trip to Franklin Barbecue would normally take a couple of hours, Taste of Austin by Ugora, a food-centered event organization, brought the nationally ranked barbecue to 60 students in the Student Activity Center on Wednesday without the wait time.

This event was Taste of Austin by Ugora’s first event and part of Longhorn Entrepreneurship Agency’s UT Entrepreneurship Week, which encourages students to create business ideas. The student organization bought Franklin items in bulk and then distributed them as meal boxes to UT students who had preordered them.

“What we are aiming to do is essentially bring a Favor and Uber Eats concept, where you can get ready-made food brought to you but at a cheaper price,” said MK Swaminathan, one of the founders of Taste of Austin by Ugora. “I understand how hard it is to pay for those things as a broke college student myself.”

Another goal of the group is to bring more attention to local Austin restaurants since visitors often do not know about them, electrical engineering junior Swaminathan said.
Organization co-founder Yashasvi Madan said she and Swaminathan wanted to bring this food to people that is not easily accessible through existing food delivery services.

Because the Facebook event had over 2,500 people interested, Taste of Austin by Ugora will have another event including Franklin Barbecue and other Austin restaurants on March 6, Madan said.

“We were expecting a lot of attention because it was Franklin, but we weren’t expecting nearly as much as we got,” Madan, a management information systems sophomore, said. “We made the tickets go live off Facebook and within two hours they were all sold out.”

Animal rights activist Cat Deiparine said she and members of the Austin chapter of Direct Action Everywhere brought signs protesting the slaughter of animals.

“We were just trying to raise awareness and give some humility to the animals who were slaughtered here for those meals,” biochemistry junior Deiparine said. “It’s just a little glimpse and taste just to remind people, ‘Hey this is a real living being you’re eating.’”

Computer science junior Malcolm Hess said this was his first time having Franklin despite being from Austin.

“It’s pretty interesting to get (Franklin) without having to wait, because I feel like it’s not really worth the four-hour wait,” Henn said. “I’ve had some good barbecue here and there, and this was pretty high quality, but I think I’ve had better.”