Dunwoody restaurant owner hands out dozens of free burgers to early voters

Billy Kramer brought dozens of free burgers to early voters and poll workers during the first week of early voting.
Billy Kramer brought dozens of free burgers to early voters and poll workers during the first week of early voting.

Credit: Libby Pollock

Credit: Libby Pollock

The founder of a burger joint visited the Dunwoody Library twice last week to give poll workers and hungry voters some free grub.

Billy Kramer, who owns NFA Burger, said he was among those waiting in line the first day of early voting before a friend directed him to another early voting location with a shorter line. However, he said he knew the library’s line would stay long on the second day, since many wouldn’t have the ability to travel away from their closest polling place.

“I didn’t want people to get dissuaded from voting because they were in line for a long time and were hungry," he said. “I just wanted people to be comfortable in line.”

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NFA Burger, which recently won The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s poll for best burger in metro Atlanta, is located in a gas station that’s walking distance from the library. When his restaurant closed at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 13, Kramer had his employees cook up a batch of 25 extra burgers.

He intended to give them to voters but decided at the last minute to leave them for poll workers.

“They’re volunteering and are in close quarters all day, wearing masks. It can’t be very comfortable for them," Kramer said. "So I thought they deserved some love.”

Two days later, he heard there was still a wait outside the library, so he decided to bring another 25 burgers. Libby Pollock and her kids were among those waiting in the line, which wrapped around the building.

“I heard a voice say, ‘Anyone want a free burger?’” she said.

Pollock took a picture of Kramer, who donned a face mask, holding a box full of burgers before he began to hand them out. She posted it to the Dunwoody Area Restaurant Reviews page on Facebook, where it has since amassed more than 750 reactions.

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During the first few days of early voting, DeKalb County officials said lines reached up to 90 minutes at some locations. While neighboring Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties saw much longer lines, county election officials have voiced concerns that line length could increase the last few days of early voting and on election day, which is Nov. 3.

Pollock said she was able to move through the Dunwoody Library line in roughly half an hour to vote. This week, voting times at the library — and most of the county — have been less than 30 minutes.

“I think I’m the only one I know who waited in line. I picked the wrong time ... actually I picked the right time because we all got burgers,” she said.

Kramer said this likely won’t be the last time he brings food to the polls, but he doesn’t want residents to vote just to get a free burger. He said he just wants to make the wait a little more pleasant.

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