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The New “Better For You” Burgers

Where “everyone loves burgers” trend intersects with the “better-for-you foods” movement, a growing number of chains are appealing both to happiness and healthfulness. In this “ethical burgers” category, quality is defined by much more than whether beef is “fresh, never frozen.  Chef-owner Hilary Brown’s Local Burger in Lawrence, Kan., is among the burger joints arguing […]

Spike Mendelsohn Has More Good Stuff in Mind

Competing with the big burger chains “can be like battling the Mafia,” says Spike Mendelsohn, chef-owner of Washington. D.C.’s Good Stuff Eatery, which is itself about to become a chain. Spike isn’t suggesting McDonald’s or Burger King want him to sleep with the fishes, “it’s just that they’re so powerful and they’ve given burgers a […]

New Burgers Lead O’Charley’s Sales-Rebuilding Effort


O’Charley’s is the latest casual-dining chain to call on a lineup of improved burgers to headline a new marketing effort and reverse declines in sales, average check and guest counts. The Nashville-based chain of 244 restaurants this week is making a newly christened line of  “Fresh Burgers” the focal point of its advertising as it […]

Transform Fast Food to Gourmet Fare? McDonald’s Plays Along


The premise of the entertaining blog FancyFastFood.com is that fast-food meals can be deconstructed and reassembled into something much more appetizing. That there’s criticism of fast food on the site and not just fun is clear from the blog’s subtitle: “Yeah, It’s Still Bad for You—But See How Good It Can Look.” Recently, for example, McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets […]

Monday News-Nugget Catch-Up for 10/12


 Fourth quarter has begun, ladies and gentlemen. Last call for bold, new menu and marketing ideas. Wendy’s “You know when it’s real” has charms, but is it head-turning charm? Or will it be simply another update of the 1985 commercial here that sings “That’s fresh. That’s class. That’s Wendys”? For this Monday, a fourth-quarter Menu Slideshow […]

Ten Top Burger-Topper Condiments

A collateral benefit of build-your-own-burger concepts’ popularity is that operators and diners more clearly understand that a good burger is the sum of its several parts. Beef quality counts, of course, but so do the bun, cheese and condiments.     Spreadable toppings are the language in which most signature burgers are written. The Umami Burger […]