Smashburger: Smashed fresh. Served delicious.

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Why would anyone call their restaurant Smashburger?
Well, if you take a fresh, never-frozen, 100 percent Angus beef meatball, put it on the grill and then smash it, what else would you call your restaurant?

Smashburger’s 312 U.S. Locations

In 2007, two fast food industry veterans, in a joint venture with Consumer Capital Partners, launched the first Smashburger restaurant in Denver, Colorado. So, who were these guys? One of them was Tom Ryan who had previously helped to develop the stuffed crust pizza concept for Pizza Hut and later served as chief concept officer for McDonald’s. The second one, was Rich Schaden, a former owner of Quiznos. The two envisioned Smashburger to be one of the “better burger” restaurants, using only fresh, never-frozen, 100 percent Angus beef.

The Smashburger Kitchen
Tom and Rich bought a Denver restaurant called Icon Burger, which they used to experiment with concepts for their “higher-end” burger. They spent six months developing a kitchen with a central griddle that housed a refrigerated area underneath, making it very convenient for the cook to access the meatballs without leaving the griddle. Eventually, this concept was standardized in every Smashburger location. Rejecting charbroilers and barbecue grills, they chose to use the old-fashioned flattop grill to cook their burgers.

Tom and Rich did a blind taste test of 300 kinds of beef
before settling on chopped
Angus beef.

“… fresh, never frozen 100% Certified Angus Beef® that’s smashed, seasoned, and seared on the grill to our butter-toasted artisan buns and quality cheeses, toppings, and sauces …”

By the end of 2011, the chain had 143 locations, half of which were franchises and the annual revenue had soared to $54 million. In early 2015, the chain had grown to 312 stores with 7,000 employees.

Smashburger’s hand-spun milkshakes made with Häagen-Dazs® Ice Cream.

Despite the higher prices, Smashburger and other specialty burger restaurants, are giving the major fast-food chains a run for their money. Once considered the market leader for fast-food dining, McDonald’s a 15 percent drop in net income in 2014, the first decline in those figures in 33 years.

Times are changing and consumers want higher quality food with more options to customize.  Thank you, Smashburger!

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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