Friday, July 16, 2010

Premium Burgers Are All the Rage

When President Obama showed up at Ray's Hell Burger -- not once, but twice -- it did two things. First, it put Ray's, an eatery in Arlington, Va., on the map to a whole lot of burger lovers. Second, it helped to demonstrate a major trend in America's restaurant-dining scene.

Welcome to the age of the premium burger. As the Washington Post explained:

"Better burger" joints are among the fastest-growing parts of the restaurant industry. Celebrity chef Bobby Flay launched Bobby's Burger Palace in the Northeast. Elevation burger is expanding to Kuwait. Mooyah Burgers & Fries, Meatheads and the Shake Shack are looking to expand.

Higher-grade beef, fresher or more creative toppings, and better buns are bringing customers in the door.

. . . It's a market that has room to grow. Such chains represent only about 2 percent of the $65 billion burger market . . .
The rise of the premium burger is a good development. As for chains, I like Five Guys burgers a whole lot, but I think their fries are vastly overrated.