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Posted at 1:41 PM ET, 01/ 7/2011

BGR: The Burger Joint is on the watch list

By Tim Carman
bgr_opt.jpg We'll keep an eye on those burgers any day. (James M. Thresher/For The Washington Post)

Perhaps you'd rather blind yourself with Gordon Ramsay's hair-molding gum than read another story about hamburgers (and if so, please get help, OK?), but we here at GOG Central wanted to pass along some semi-fresh news about BGR: The Burger Joint. In addition to being on our list of best burgers, BGR has made BurgerBusiness's list of chains to watch in 2011.

BB notes that BGR is opening locations outside the DMV, too:

A fave in the D.C. area, this concept is spreading out fast. Upcoming locations are in Mobile, Ala.; Columbia, Md.; Clemson, S.C.; Arlington, Va.; Springfield, Va. Check out the Cuban Burger topped with slow roasted pork, Serrano ham, sweet pickles, Dijon mustard and Swiss on a brioche bun and grill pressed.

So I asked BGR founder Mark Bucher what we will see if we "watch" his chain this year. His response via e-mail:

I think 2011 will be the year of the "better burger". I think the marketplace is accepting a higher quality burger and also shunning chains. BGR will grow slowly and smartly on 3 principles: a) it's all about quality over speed b) we won't fall into typical traps of restaurant chains and get fancy or different (promise not to hire consultants ;) and c) I'm still close to the customers and product!

I followed up with two more inquiries: What does growing slowly and smartly entail? And how do you ensure quality product as you expand?

Bucher wrote back:

Those are the hardest questions. As for product I'm using my same supplier for all the burgers. I'm also militant on the quality. Slowly means, not partaking in a race, so to speak: good partners and good real estate determine the future. Not deadlines or artificial deadlines set by venture capitalists. We are doing this with the same core BGR partners and management team no outsiders. Bottom line to me it's all about the quality of the food and quality of the community.

By Tim Carman  | January 7, 2011; 1:41 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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