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TikTok influencer Keith Lee has customers lining up at Coop's Pit BBQ food truck

TikTok influencer highlights South Florida food truck
TikTok influencer highlights South Florida food truck 02:36

MIAMI - TikTok influencer and food critic Keith Lee, with more than 16 million followers, showed up to Coop's Pit BBQ food truck unannounced Monday, and now, customers are lining up.

For the Coopers, the art of barbecuing runs in their blood.

"This is our, basically, what we grew up on. Hailing from the church to now. We took it and made a business model, started doing back door picnics for families and family reunions," said Torris Cooper, a co-owner of Coop's Pit BBQ truck.

The Cooper family started Coop's Pit BBQ 30 years ago.

They've been operating their food truck at the Sunflex gas station on Northwest 7th Street for about eight years.

But it only took a single day for everything to change.

"My family was driving around Miami, Florida, when we saw this barbecue food truck rolling inside of the gas station parking lot. When I say rolling, he had the whole block smoking," said Lee.

Typically, Coop's isn't open on Monday's, but they were open for the Memorial Day holiday.

Torris was working when Lee and his team showed up.

"This entourage of folks came in these big party vans, and we got out and it kind of spooked me because I was here alone — and I'm like in protective mode and I'm like whoa and I'm asking them what's going on," said Cooper.

This is what was going on: Lee and his family were trying a slew of food from Coop's.

The Lee's tried multiple dishes, including ribs, chicken, greens and baked beans, and Lee gave his honest opinion.

"Oh my God, 8.7 out of 10," Lee said of the ribs. 

"I can see people really liking this because to me this is too sweet," Lee said of the baked beans. 

Cooper says he was shocked when Lee introduced himself.

"He said this food is delicious not knowing who this guy was." 

And even more shocked when Lee and his team gave him $3,000 as a thank-you.

"It couldn't come at a better time, you know, we're here, going into the summer where it slows up. Any kind of injection, it helps because it goes right back into business," said Cooper.

Now, customers who saw Lee's viral video are lining up to get a plate.

"Let me check it out. So, we're about to find out how good it is, but he said it's great, so I believe him," said Q James, a customer who stopped by to try Coop's.

And James and several other people we spoke to say the hype is real.

"It's amazing, everything is really tender, it's flavorful. Seasoned to perfection and I really like the spicy one that's what I got," said James.

The Coopers say they're expecting a big crowd through the weekend, and they tell us there's a lot of prepping that's going to happen over the next few days, but they're ready and they are grateful for the Keith Lee effect.

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