On-trend Burger Ideas

Explore this section for unique yet simple burger concepts that will do your menu proud, and establish your restaurant as the best burger joint around!

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PREP Tips

Avoid the smack-down

Most burger experts agree, never smash down the meat on the grill. When you smash down the patty, you squeeze out the juices – which carry all the flavor. Some burger chains have had success with the concept of smashing the patty down on the grill to create a crispy outer crust – but generally speaking, it makes for a flat and boring burger. Which means your image could take a hit.

Watch your burger-bun ratio

Remember, the bun can form more than half of the burger’s taste experience. Try for a meat-to-bun ratio of 1:1, with buns that are about 4 to 4-1/2 inches round. The goal is for your patron to get a taste of every element – meat, bun and toppings – in every bite.

Let it cook

After you place the patty, let the grill do its thing. There’s no need to keep pushing the patty around until you have a sear – which will be obvious when the patty comes right off the heat. Cook burger to 70% (when you see the blood bubbling at the top) and FLIP ONLY ONCE. Cook the remainder of the way. Be sure to cook to an internal temperature of 160°F to ensure safety.

Some rest is best

Like with steaks, it’s important to let the burger rest for two to three minutes after you take it off the heat. This allows the burger to redistribute its juices, to create a more even taste experience for patrons from the first bite to the last.

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PLATING Ideas

Get creative with color

No matter what kind of burger you’re serving, color is critical to your plating strategy. And whether you’re adding French or sweet potato fries, fresh fruits, vegetable medleys or cole slaw on the side, always try to have a variety of colors on the plate. Studies show people respond to certain colors more favorably than others:

  • Green is "fresh" and can be calming to patrons
  • Red represents vitality, passion and energy
  • Black is perceived as elegant
  • Blue can suppress appetites because it makes surrounding foods look less inviting
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NAMING Your Burger

In addition to creating crave-worthy burgers, crafting a memorable name that showcases the burger's uniqueness makes for even greater appeal. Great names reflect the character of the burger but also make it more memorable for return visits. When naming your burgers, remember these tips:

  • Know your brand: make sure the name reflects the "tone" of your restaurant – if you run a family diner, you should stick to more wholesome names, but bars can be a little more edgy
  • Leverage ethnicity: studies have shown that if you give a dish an ethnic label, guests will rate it as more "authentic", so use this technique to make your burgers stand out
  • Get personal: including the names of a local celebrity or a longtime patron makes items seem more appealing and intimate and taps into the hot "food with a story" trend
  • Showcase ingredients: highlight the unique or on-trend ingredients featured in your burgers – whether it’s Vermont Cheddar, Angus beef or trending Filipino spices
  • Use shock value: take an underperforming item and rebrand it with a more attention-getting name (one chef transformed an "Apple Beet Raw Smoothie" into "Blood" – and saw sales skyrocket!)
  • Keep it short: remember, it’s "advertising" as much as a burger name
  • Try alliteration: use words starting with the same letters (e.g., "Billy’s Black & Blue Burger") – it adds to the burger’s personality and makes the name fun to say
  • Go big: patrons want to know they’re getting a great value, so highlight your "jumbo" patties, or brand your shareable sliders not as "minis" but as fun "burger poppers"
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