When you think American food, what might come to mind is chicken wings, hot dogs, freedom, and, of course, the classic burger.
How did we get to this point where the hamburger is so intertwined with the American food scene? People are so crazy about their burgers that 71% of all beef eaten in restaurants takes place between a hamburger bun.
But where did that all begin? It’s been declared on many different shows and websites that hamburger history was made with Delmonico’s in New York City presenting us with the first burger, but that has since then been refuted. Supposedly, the printer that they used for the menu wasn’t even in business when their famed burger was “created”.
Whether the hamburger originated in New York City or Wisconsin, the burger bus didn’t stop there.
With Americans eating about 50 billion burgers a year, this is one dish you’re going to want to keep on your menu.
This doesn’t mean you can just put together some ground beef and bread and expect your sales to skyrocket though. It turns out the 3 out of 5 consumers want to know the backstory of their beef, and 68% of them are Millennials. With the biggest generation yet wanting to know where your beef comes from, now is the time to look at where you are sourcing your food.
This is where the mid-range burger joints are making a niche for themselves. With premium ingredients and a backstory of local product and happy cows, they are able to sell a burger at a much higher cost than any fast food joint.
By using “premium” ingredients, around 40% of guests are more likely to purchase and spend slightly more to significantly more money on the burger.
From a $1 value meal burger, people are now looking at $8 fast casual burgers, with a seven dollar increase on the same meal you’re going to need to be creative with your concept.
Not only does this put fast food joints on high alert, but if you’re a mid-range restaurant, what do you do? It used to be there were only a few different levels of burgers. You have the fast food, the mid-range restaurant, then the high-end. Now with places like Shake Shack and Smashburger opening and taking over this field there is more competition for this 73 billion dollar business. They aren’t quite fast food, because what fast food place talks about their locally sourced lettuce, there is something higher quality about them that gets guests in the door. And we love reading stories like this about local burger joints that embrace new technology and ingredients into their concepts!
The best thing to do is listen to what the guests want.
46% of consumers want more chicken burgers, with a close following of 42% wanting more turkey. Red meat has been somewhat labeled as a treat meal, and not a part of a regular diet- so a white meat burger can get those guests who don’t want to indulge as much.
With the hamburger industry rapidly changing, the focus always seems to fall on what Millennials want and what the next big thing is. This time around it’s just a plain, classic, American burger (as long as everything is organic and 100% pure angus beef).