In thinking about things restaurants MUST have, I came up with these as a start, and not just for BBQ joints, but All restaurants:
(1)Must serve properly smoked meats as a central fixture on their menu. No steamed, boiled, and sauced impostors.
(2)All tables must offer hot sauce as a condiment
(3)Fried fish must be served at least two days a week, and all tables must have tarter sauce squeeze bottles with enough of the squirter cut off so that relish doesn't impede flow
(4)Each table should have a paper towel dispenser
(5)Hushpuppies should be given to all tables at no charge as soon as you are seated- manager should be subject to flogging if pups aren't hot!
(6)Parking lot should smell good, be dimly lit, and be gravel
(7)Restaurant does not need to have a bar, but should be understanding of patrons that periodically excuse themselves to the parking lot for a nip or two
(8)Restaurant must serve a good steak, cooked over charcoal or blackened on cast iron, and properly portioned. I suggest 14oz as minimum for NY Strip, 16oz for ribeye, and 20oz for bone in ribeye.
(9)Must make good onion rings
(10)Salad dressings must be made in house (as everything should be within reason) and served at table "old school" style in dressing boats.
(11)Restaurant should be located in area without cell service, or employ cell jamming technology so I don't have to listen to your calls and you don't have to listen to mine.
There will be others as they come to mind. Please feel free to add your own.