Meat&Poultry - April 2012 - (Page 48)

Ground Beef Five Guys Burgers and Fries has attracted a loyal following, which has been instrumental in its success. (Photo courtesy of Five Guys Holdings, LLC) Symon opened the first of his four restaurants in 2009. His timing was spot on. Burger consumption has spiked since 2009, with nearly half of today’s consumers saying they eat a burger at least once a week compared with 38 percent two years ago, according to a recent study by Technomic, a Chicago-based food and bev- Burger nirvana America’s love affair with hamburgers has bolstered foodservice segments, increased overall demand BY LARRY AYLWARD erage industry research and consulting firm. One reason for the increase is the continued prominence of burgers on quick-service value menus, according to Technomic. But another big reason for the increase is the specialty burger craze that has spurred growth completely separate from pricing, which Symon has helped spear. These “better burgers” have gained a reputation for quality and are making an impact. “The better burger restaurants in the fast-casual segment have put the S urprisingly, celebrity chef Michael Symon, a James Beard called B Spot in the Cleveland area. B Spot offers premium hamburgers made from a custom-blended grind supplied by North Bergen, NJ-based Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors. The 16 specialty burgers on the menu, in- burger top-of-mind for consumers, and even the quick-service chains have begun to respond and focus portions of their menus specifically on quality perceptions,” says Sara Monnette, Technomic’s director of consumer research. Symon isn’t surprised that more people are eating burgers. “The burger is one of the true American classics and is at the heart of American cuisine,” he says. Dave Zino, executive chef for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, also says the increase isn’t unexpected. “The burger is iconic,” he adds. “It’s part of our fabric.” The folks at Lorton, Va.-based Five Guys Burgers and Fries are certainly not surprised. While Five Guys doesn’t offer burgers topped with fried eggs Foundation award-winning chef, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who also earned the title of “Iron Chef” in 2007, says he’d rather have a hamburger than a steak anytime. “I love hamburgers,” says Symon, who appears Symon on the Food Network regularly. “I love the juices running down my arm. There’s just something incredibly satisfying about eating a burger.” Symon adores hamburgers so much that he opened a chain of ham- “The burger is one of the true American classics and is at the heart of American cuisine.” cluding the Symon Says burger (with bologna, coleslaw, sauce and American cheese) and the Kojak (burger with gyro meat, tzatziki sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion and feta cheese), aren’t cheap – they cost $6 to $9 – but they’re selling well. Zino burger-themed restaurants 48 • Meat&Poultry • April 2012 •

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat&Poultry - April 2012

Meat&Poultry - April 2012
Table of Contents
Commentary - Assassinating effective technology
Business Notes - LFTB fallout continues
Business Notes - Thompson to CEO of McDonald’s
Business Notes - Introducing: NAMA
Business Notes - Group to acquire Burger King restaurants
Business Notes - JBS may leave Argentina
Business Notes - JBS Q4 earnings advance despite Pilgrim’s Pride loss
Business Notes - Tyson addresses its strategy and stance on LFTB
Washington - Family farm labor pains
Cover Story - Team builder
Food Safety - Full speed ahead
CEO Series - Executive experience
Ground Beef - Burger nirvana
Meat Processing - Operations & Engineering
Flooring - Building a solid foundation
Contract Sanitation - Focus on plant sanitation
Sanitation Tips (Consejos de Sanidad) - Cleaning compounds
Sanitation Tips - Be cautious with chemicals
Packaging Solutions - Sandwich success
Ingredient Issues - ‘Real food’ nutrition
Ingredient Trends - Tracking global ingredient trends
Small Business Matters - Remote possibilities
Leadership Development - Creating future leaders
From the Corral - On-farm handling
Labor - Balancing and bargaining act
Names in the News
New Product Showcase
Classified Advertising
The Insider

Meat&Poultry - April 2012