KANSAS CITY – Despite rising prices spurred on by supply chain issues and inflation, burgers at foodservice remain in high demand. The market research company Technomic’s Burger Consumer Trend Report showed that 85% of consumers eat burgers at least once per month and 51% eat burgers at least once per week.
The Technomic report also found that compared to 2019, burgers have traveled well as consumption has moved off-location across the board in fast-food, fast-casual, family-style and casual dining.
Favorite toppings identified by Technomic for a burger included bacon (70%), lettuce (64%), tomato (59%), onion (56%), pickle (49%) and mushrooms (44%). The top two cheeses were American and cheddar.
While there is comfort in traditional toppings, foodservice companies have been working overtime to develop new applications that differentiate and, hopefully, will drive more virtual or store traffic.
The new Bistro Buford from Checker & Rally’s features two beef patties, two strips of bacon with melted Swiss cheese, Dijon mayo sauce and Parmesan-dusted onion rings on a toasted bun.
“With ingredients such as Parmesan-dusted onions and Dijon mayo, the Bistro Buford delivers an elevated experience that’s full of flavor bang for your buck,” said Ryan Joy, senior director of development at Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., Tampa, Fla.
New to the menu at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews, Greenwood Village, Colo., is the smokehouse brisket burger that features a beef burger topped with Whiskey River barbecue sauce, smoked brisket, black peppered bacon, provolone cheese, roasted jalapeños, dill pickle, onion straws and chipotle aioli on a toasted brioche bun.
Signature Stackburgers are new menu items at American Dairy Queen Corp., Minneapolis. There are five varieties, including the Flamethrower that features “flamethrower” sauce, melted pepper jack cheese, jalapeño bacon, tomato and lettuce; the Loaded A1 with A1 Steak Sauce, peppercorn sauce, applewood smoke bacon, sharp American cheese and onion rings; the bacon two cheese deluxe with melted sharp American and white cheddar cheeses; two cheese deluxe with sharp American and white cheddar cheeses; and the original cheeseburger.
At The Counter Custom Burgers, a Kahala Management brand, Scottsdale, Ariz., is the new Serrano Burger. The burger is made with Angus beef, red onion, cheddar and smoked gouda cheeses, bacon, serrano pepper and onion mix, served on a brioche bun garnished with a deep-fried serrano pepper and a side of serrano chili aioli.
McDonald’s Corp., Chicago, has gone the customization route by offering menu items inspired by creations shared on social media. The burgers combine multiple menu items into “craveable combos,” according to the company. Customers can order the combos by name — but they will have to assemble the creations themselves.
The Crunchy Double combines Chicken McNuggets and a double cheeseburger with tangy barbecue sauce. The Land, Air & Sea is a McChicken sandwich, stacked on a Big Mac, stacked on a Filet-O-Fish. The Surf+Turf is a McChicken sandwich stacked on a Big Mac.
Fast-casual concept BurgerFi has introduced the Ultimate Bacon Bash meal, which includes the Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger, bacon cheese fries and a limited-time maple bacon shake.
“BurgerFi loves to put a new spin on a classic fan favorite,” said Paul Griffin, chief culinary officer of BurgerFi. “There’s never too much bacon, and this sweet and savory combination continues to win for foodies and BurgerFi on redefining what consumers love and crave the most.”
Last December, Smashburger unveiled the Chorizo Cheeseburger, created by chef and restaurateur Rick Bayless. The Mexican-inspired burger was available through mid-February at all Smashburger locations nationwide.
Smashburger’s first ever Mexican-inspired burger is made with Angus beef, topped with V&V Supremo’s Mexican-style pork chorizo and then layered with melted cheddar cheese, house-made jalapeño pico de gallo, lettuce, and mayo, and served on a toasted chipotle bun.