Bill Miller Bar-B-Q Enterprises

Bill Miller Bar-B-Q Enterprises

company_name = Bill Miller Bar-B-Q
company_type = Restaurant
foundation = 1953
location = San Antonio, Texas
industry = Food, restaurant
slogan = "The home of Texas' best eatin"Fact|date=December 2007
homepage = []

Bill Miller Bar-B-Q is a San Antonio-headquartered restaurant chain that focuses on barbecue food, accompanying side dishes (such as potato salad and coleslaw), and baked goods.

The restaurant started as a poultry and egg business in 1950 from a $500 loan. Founder Bill Miller later expanded the business into a fried chicken take-out restaurant. The menu eventually incorporated hamburgers, and then shifted into a barbecue restaurant. The second restaurant opened in February of 1963.

From the beginning, Bill Miller Bar-B-Q was a family business. Faye Miller served as a cashier and hostess while raising their four children. The children learned how to work and were raised learning the operations of the business. They worked in the restaurant during the summers and on weekends. When Bill Miller planned a vacation to Europe between Balous Miller's junior and senior years of college, Balous ran the restaurant business that summer and then decided to make Bill Miller Bar-B-Q his career rather than pursuing his plans for teaching school. Bill Miller semi-retired upon Balous' graduation in May of 1966. As his brothers, John and Douglas received their degrees, they joined him in the restaurant business. The three brothers and their brother-in-law, Louis Vance, have worked together now in excess of thirty years.

Sixty-seven restaurants cover the San Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi markets. All foods served at the restaurants are produced in one facility in downtown San Antonio, and are then shipped to each location daily.

Business Model

There were few, if any, food-to-go outlets in those early years, and Bill Miller Bar-B-Q was one of the first to offer quality food-to-go and five minute service, which was unheard of at the time. Bill Miller Bar-B-Q's concept of serving barbecued meats and fresh pies and breads on a daily basis from a central commissary is unique to its industry. Bill Miller Bar-B-Q offers a quality catering service, serving groups as small as 100 to as large as 10,000. All of the barbecue is cooked with 100% hill country live oak wood in a brick pit. Natural gas or electric heat is never used to cook the barbecue. Bill Miller designed the original barbecue pits he used in the 1950 's and the large industrial sized ones used today -- that will cook up to 2,500 pounds of brisket at one time in 18 to 20 hours.

Basic Operation

The central office of Bill Miller Bar-B-Q operates a commissary, sausage kitchen, bakery, laundry service and warehouse. The plant is built according to Federal meat-packing guidelines and is inspected by the City of San Antonio and The State of Texas. The ultra modern commissary kitchen specializes in the barbecue of USDA grade beef, cooked over Texas Hill Country Live Oak fires. The bakery specializes in baking bread and pies daily. The restaurants have dining rooms and food-to-go service. Bill Miller Bar-B-Q owns all its own real estate and buildings and operates its own distribution center.


In 2001, they sold 4.5 million pounds of brisket, enough for 4 & 1/2 lbs. for every man, woman, and child in San Antonio. They also sold 7 million pounds of chicken, 2 million links of sausage, 200 thousand slabs of pork ribs, and 9 million pounds of potatoes. They sold over 453,600 jalapenos, each one hand-sized in the field. Also, they used 1.5 million pounds of tomato paste for barbecue sauce. In 1998, they sold more chicken than beef.

They used 600 thousand tea bags to brew 3 million gallons of tea, enough for 10 million large iced teas. It was sweetened by 2 million pounds of sugar. They sold over 100 thousand Texas Tea Buckets, a quart-size insulated drink mug.


cite web
title=Bill Miller Bar-B-Q
accessdate = 2008-05-25

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