Forget that $6 burger from Carl's Jr…. The real money is in the over $100 billion that U.S. consumers spent on hamburgers last year.
Skip Mickey D's or that double-patty Whopper from the king. Upscale burgers are now all the rage. The fast-casual better-burger chains are expected to grow at 10% per year compared to a projected 3% growth for the hamburger market as a whole.
Positioned between the quick-serve likes of McDonald's and the sit-down casual hamburger meals from the usual places like Applebee's and TGI Friday's, the fast-casual better-burger companies hype their made-to-order and personalized high-quality beef hamburgers to hungry carnivores.
The newest undisputed leader in this niche category is Five Guys Burgers and Fries. But competitors ready to grind consumer dollars include Smashburger, The Habit Burger, The Counter, Jake's Wayback Burgers, and Bobby's Burger Palace, to mention just a few.
www.BurgerBusiness.com (yes, there really is a magazine devoted to the burger biz) recently spilled the catsup on the newest entrant into the better-burger war, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc.'s new small-restaurant prototype.
All this talk is making me hungry. I think I'll make a run down to Johnny Rocket's. Wanna' join me?