"A Big Mac, a BLT,
Quarter pounder with some cheese, Filet of fish a hamburger,
a cheeseburger, a Happy Meal”

The Burger Song
Skee-Lo

American’s love their burgers. Now, more than ever it seems. Recent NPD findings show that incremental sales of burgers are up 20% over last year:


It is estimated that the Hamburger menu segment accounts for more than 33% Limited Service Restaurant industry sales. (Source:Technomic, Inc. 2009 Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report) McDonald’s is the largest player in not only the Hamburger menu segment but the restaurant industry as a whole. In the Hamburger menu segment of the Limited Service Restaurant category, McDonald’s has more US units than Burger King and Wendy’s (their two largest competitors) combined. McDonald’s US system wide sales are greater than their next 10 largest competitors combined! (Source: Technomic, Inc..) Approximately 1 in 4 consumers in the US order a hamburger from a quick service or fast casual concept at least once a week (Source:Technomic, Inc. Burger Consumer Trend Report ). The last thing the world needs is another hamburger joint, right? Wrong.

Today, fresh made hamburger concepts are springing up across the country like, well, fresh made hamburger concepts:

Meat Heads Burgers Fries: Created by Tom Jednorowicz, former chief development officer for Potbelly Sandwich Works, and real estate developer Doug Reichl. Charlie Braggs, a fine dining chef and alumni of Ambria, worked with Meat Heads to develop the menu that features hand-pressed, fresh made hamburgers, sandwiches and fresh-cut fries. There are three locations open throughout the Chicago region and the concept is on pace to open three to five more locations within the next 12 months. Meat Heads
Burguesa:Created by Jeff Sinelli, the founder of Which Wich® and Genghis Grill®, Burguesa Burger® blends American and Mexican influences to create great burgers, fries, and beverages. The name is derived from the Spanish word ‘hamburguesa,’ translated to hamburger. It is positioned as the first true Mexican burger chain serving authentic Mexican burgers.
Mooyah:Austere menu offering four things: burgers, fries, shakes and drinks. Started by Rich Hicks, who founded the fast-casual Tin Star in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and Todd Istre, founder of the Boudreaux’s Cajun Kitchen and Taters Kountry Kitchen. The concept specializes in fresh, made-to-order burgers and fries, and features an open kitchen. mooyah
Smashburger:Smashburger’s motto, “Smash, Sizzle, Savor” says it all. The Denver-based concept uses a signature cooking method, smashing, to cook the beef used in its “better burgers.” Richard Shaden, the founder of Quizno’s as well as Denver-based private-equity firm Consumer Capital Partners (CCP), launched Smashburger in June 2007 in Glendale, CO. Smashburger
Bobby's Burger Palace: A four-unit fast-casual concept based in New Jersey, is the brainchild of celebrity chef Bobby Flay. Bobby's Burger Palace showcases made-to-order, signature grilled burgers that all feature high-quality ingredients. The chain's menu focus is simple; 10 burgers are the main offering, accompanied by fries and a selection of real ice-cream milkshakes. Bobby Flay launched the first BBP in Paramus, NJ, in 2008. Bobby's Burger Palace
Epic Burger:Fast-casual burger restaurant based in downtown Chicago. All-natural and organic ingredients take center stage at Epic Burger. The chain prides itself on a menu that features components like locally sourced produce, nitrate-free bacon and cage-free eggs as toppings for its burgers. Eco-friendly and humane practices combine to produce what Epic calls “a more mindful burger.” Epic Burger


So next time you have a craving for a fresh made burger, simply close your eyes, spin around three times and walk in any direction. If you don’t find something in 5 minutes, you’re on the wrong planet.

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Tags: burger, hamburger, mandeltort, sandwich, technomic

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Comment by susan holaday on September 16, 2009 at 3:46am
Yes, yes, yes! This is where it's going - check my new blog today! I'm seeing great burger concepts start to open as well or grow (Danny Meyer's Shake Shack is opening a fourth unit).

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