Burgers. A National Favourite.
With the sixth National Burger Day being celebrated on Thursday, 23rd August this year, we thought we’d take a closer look at what has now become one of the world’s favourite and most recognised menu items.
The burger, or hamburger – to give it its Sunday name – has been around in some form for over 150 years, with mentions of a ‘Hamburg steak’ (a ground beef patty eaten with a knife and fork) being recorded before the American Civil War started in 1861. Someone, probably an American (and there are many claims to the invention …), had the idea of putting the ‘Hamburg steak’ in a bread bun and eating it like a sandwich in the 1880s, and the hamburger, as we recognise it, was born.
Whatever the burger’s heritage, one thing is certain – we love it.
According to research by Mintel, the UK burger bar market was worth around £3.28 billion in 2016, up 22% in five years. That growth has mainly been driven by the increase number of foodservice venues serving gourmet burgers.
What makes a burger ‘Gourmet’?
Freshly-made burgers top the list of customer expectations, with consumers also keen to be able to customise their burger through a choice of different breads and toppings, and to choose how the burger is cooked. They’re also interested in the provenance of the ingredients, the cuts of meat used, and particularly like their burgers to include artisanal components.
How can you capitalise on the Gourmet Burger trend?
Traditionally the main component of the burger is ground beef, but this can easily be varied by including choices such as patties made from turkey, ostrich, buffalo, lamb or pork. It’s always a good idea to have a vegetarian option too – check Total Foodservice’s great selection of tasty, non-meat burgers.
Offer a selection of bread buns, such as brioche, ciabatta rolls or multiseeded breads, as well as traditional sesame buns.
Provide a choice of delicious toppings for your customers to add to build their own burger. These can be priced separately and are a good opportunity to add value and profit.
For example, instead of a slice of processed cheese, typical of that well-known fast food chain, what about crumbly Stilton, Wensleydale or Lancashire cheeses, or perhaps feta or grilled halloumi for your cheeseburger options?
Bacon could be smoked or unsmoked or even replaced with pulled pork. Offer alternatives to the usual pickled gherkins and ketchup, such as onion marmalade, chilli jam and a variety of relishes. Swap lettuce for more exotic leaves. You get the picture!
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