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Why could healthier burger chains possibly kill McDonald's?



The Apple Pan is a classic lunch counter on the west side of LA, serving hot burgers with fresh beef, wrapped in wax paper and tapped on the counter without any excuse.

I was 25 when I first got there in 1993 and by that time in my life my burger experiences were limited to forgotten fast food deals on the transit of McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy's.

But Apple Pan's Juicy Beef Pate Got Hickory Sauce Tillamook cheddar, sliced ​​cucumbers, creamy mayo, and a thick, cold iceberg completely changed my burgery palate.

This burger was so good that after I ate it I was offended that the big chains made a mockery of everything could be a great burger. (My indignation eventually led to a career of writing books and making a documentary about burgers, which of course led me to eat many and many burgers, so I'm kind of an expert, I do not wanna brag an expert.)

Smashburger, a restaurant chain that opened in 2007, is a counterpart to this continental diner burger. The company lends itself to the technique of taking a ball of hand-molded fresh high-fat meat ̵

1; 75 percent meat, 25 percent fat (by comparison, fast-food burgers tend to be 90/10) – and "hit." "a patty on a simmering hot pan.

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			<span class= Andrew Hetherington

This process produces a deeply caramelized, almost crunchy appearance, while the interior remains a pleasant pink (heresy for fast food patties) when you

New are the plush booths, the open floor plan, and a menu of ingredients you would expect in a fancy restaurant – you can top up your burger with avocado, spinach, cremini mushrooms, and truffle mayo.

In addition, there are turkey burgers, burger with black beans and salads that make a good impression it's worth ordering. Yes, you can eat fried onion rings with your burger, but you can also trade sweet potato fritters, a side salad or even crispy Brussels sprouts Many locations sell local craft beer, a typical McDonald's is not.

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			<span class= Andrew Hetherington

Tom Ryan, a former director of McDonald and founder of Smashubs He owns 348 of these restaurants around the world, and he is not the only one on the planet the rising tide of guests who demand more from their burgers.

Shake Shack, Five Guys, BurgerFi, the Habit Burger Grill, Zinburger, "Elevation Burger", "Freddy's" and "Bareburger" are just a few of the so-called "Better Burger" chains that make up Chipotle want to make the burger.

When he founded his company, Ryan says, to get used to it, Smashburger had to open up nostalgia for the pre-commodified burger: "One way to do that was to break away from the bad past of the citizens."

Smashburger & # 39; s classic Classic Smash – the grilled char, the crispy crispness of the cucumbers, the cuddly softness of the egg roll – takes me straight to the good past of the burger. It's practically nothing like a Quarter Pounder or a Whopper and almost everything I've devoured in the Apple Pan.

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<p class= And when American men eat more burgers outside the home as any other food, the winners will have an impact on everything from your wallet and your waistline to what you think when you say four magic words: "Who wants a burger?" [19659021TheBirthofBetterBurgerChain

The average Americans eat 52.9 pounds of beef per year (equivalent to 211.6 quarter pounds of burgers), and for the majority of the past century, the majority of us did not think so much about where the beef originated from or whatever else was in our burgers.

Then came Fast Food Nation the 2001 book of investigation journalist Eric Schlosser, in which the dirty shops of fast-food burgers were uncovered and many Americans were forced to endorse the true costs of go to meals.

The old guard responded by highlighting the price over quality. In 2002, McDonalds debuted the dollar menu. Labeling double cheeseburgers for only $ 1, the chain earned money, but may have damaged its reputation with a younger, more ingredient-aware generation.

Burger King and Wendy followed their own value menus and expanded into the world market. "Consumers suspected that the quality of beef had suffered at such a low price," says Dave Palmer, general manager of RBC Capital Markets, who deals with trends in the restaurant. "It opened the door to high-quality burger concepts." Like Five Guys.

Around the same time that the Golden Arches started selling burgers for a dollar, Jerry Murrell, CEO of Five Guys, began franchising his burger restaurants in DC District, Virginia and Maryland.

Murrell announced that unlike the big burger chains, Five Guys would sell burgers made with only high-quality beef.

If you've ever had the misfortune to try one of the preformed burger pies from the freezer aisle, you know what the minus temperatures for beef can mean. The texture is more like chicken in a chicken sandwich and requires targeted chewing instead of being pleasantly tender. And the taste is devoid of soul-satisfying flavor, replaced by a metallic hint, which is often removed only by a hard-boiled char.

"The fast food model fails the American consumer."

Murrell knows the benefits of fresh beef, even though he's the type of a 73-year-old man you can never get a direct answer to. If you're in his 37,000 square foot corporate headquarters in Virginia and ask him what beef mixes he buys, he'll lead you to an imposing red door. On the sign is the test kitchen – ONLY AUTHORIZED STAFF.

Five Guys now has nearly 1,600 restaurants in rural shopping malls and big city skyscrapers and in between. Murrell owns about half of the better burger category and hardly suffers from a menu that mainly contains burgers, hot dogs and French fries.

With a Five Guys, you will not find Brussels sprouts or sweet potatoes that fast Murrell seems to agree. Ask him for salads and he'll tell you, "Salads are dangerous."

Grated carrot is a choking hazard?

Romaine could have E. coli?

He only smiles.

Five Guys began its expansion (along with the eponymous West Coast pioneer In-N-Out Burger). I remember one night when I stumbled into a group of students with raging students in DC. I asked them why they chose Five Guys for the cheaper McDonalds nearby. "This is a much better burger," one said, "and it's fresh beef!" If wasted college kids were willing to pay a bit more for a higher-quality meal, fast-food establishments could be in trouble.

"The price is no longer the distinguishing feature; Quality and customer experience are, "said David Portalatin, a food industry analyst with the NPD Group. The average cost of a cheeseburger at Five Guys is six dollars. (A Big Mac costs about $ 4.)

But the prices for burgers in other fast-casual chains can be up to $ 8. And consumers are ready to pay, Portalatin argues, because they now want to eat foods that fit their lifestyle.

"The definition of health has become great," says Portalatin. He explains that today's burger consumers like to choose themselves, believing it's good for them. "There's the carb strain, the sustainability strain, the protein strain – but the common thread is a path to purity."

Burger Chains Go Healthy (ish)

Five men have fired the opening volley, but all the better The next goal of -burger chains is to harness the power of this purity. Their strategies: Obtain better ingredients, develop inclusion menus with proteins that go beyond beef and chicken, and provide a hungry audience with changing tastes.

No company does more in purity than Shake Shack. The burger spot was opened in 2001 as an unassuming stand in Madison Square Park in Manhattan. Shake Shack expanded the offering in 2004 and soon began using the franchise concept: burgers made with the same care and consideration as four-star fare.

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			<span class= Andrew Hetherington

After all, Shake Shack was the brainchild of New York's gourmet restaurant Danny Meyer, and last year Shake Shack opened its Wonkaesque spin-off Innovation Kitchen. New York's West Village This room features a typical industrial kitchen next to an elegant dining room with wood-tipped tables and vibrant foliage.

Guests can sample limited-edition menu items and burgers, some from star chefs Daniel Humm Chef of the acclaimed Eleven Madison Park made a humm burger (garnished with Gruyere, truffle mayo and shaved blue truffle), and Fergus Henderson of St. John's bow-to-tail restaurant in London made the eel burger (just that, what you think). Granted, these cooking burgers are more for the press than for the public. However, the Innovation Kitchen is experimenting with new menu items (such as a veggie burger) that are designed for a broad release.

Mark Rosati, head of Innovation Kitchen, is also the culinary director of Shake Shack. Rosati is bright, unsightly and more like a Silicon Valley entrepreneur than a chef. He leads a team whose goal is to use the same strategies used in high-end restaurants to procure world-class ingredients. That means no GMOs, antibiotics or growth hormones. "We go green where we can," he says.

In the coming years, Shake Shack plans to work with farmers and ranchers to further improve their diet. Recently in Seattle, California and Palo Alto, California, Rosatis team teamed with ranchers outside the cities to deliver a grass-fed burger to local customers.

If Shake Shack can follow Five Guys' lead and infiltrate shopping malls across America, he'll stop a biological, antibiotic-free, grass-fed burger, if you run errands, that might not sound so weird. The same applies to beef-free burgers who redefine what a "burger" is.

Throughout the country, burgers can order around 100 BurgerFis and over 200 FatBurgers vegetable pies. California-based Habit Burger Grill sells an addictive Ahi tuna fish burger.

"The burger category is gigantic," says Russ Bendel, CEO of Habit BurgerGrill. "The entire domestic market alone generates more than $ 100 billion annually." That is, "If you really analyze the category, only about $ 5 billion will come from this revenue from better burgers." But that will change, he argues. 19659002] "The fast food model fails the American consumer. The palates of humans will evolve. "Yes, Shake Shack's 195 locations are nothing compared to McDonald's over 14,000, but Shake Shack reported a growth rate of 31.2 percent in 2017. In the same year, McDonald's recorded an increase of 0.93 percent in locations worldwide. Who has the impulse?

But really, is anything important?

Established in 2005, Elevation Burger, which now spans 27 locations across the United States, is of great importance to health. "With 100 percent organically grown open-burgers with fresh beef and fresh French fries cooked in heart-healthy olive oil, we've raised the typical burger joint standards so you can take care of them," the company said ,

Despite all these rumors about organic and otherwise higher-quality ingredients, I began to wonder if replacing a Big Mac habit with a habit of health-conscious burgers can change the way you look and feel.

A higher quality burger is better than a lower quality burger, "says Men's Health Dietitian Chris Mohr, Ph.D., RD, who likes to eat burgers, quickly relaxed and different. He cites slightly higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in grass-fed meats and no antibiotics in the case of BurgerFi and Shake Shack. "But it's not the same as packing a good lunch for the office."

A burger is still a burger, after all no cabbage salad with grilled chicken breast. Mohr recommends having only one burger once a week – preferably a high quality burger.

The main reason: If you eat burgers more often, you may replace other protein sources that supply you with various nutrients. Too many burgers often mean too few servings of heart-healthy, omega-3-laden salmon or high-fiber chili.

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<p class= In addition, his research indicates that consumers are settling down more for local and artisanal products from a 100-year-old bakery on the street Even though they are less healthy.

It's important to realize how much marketing bulls your burger brings, so it's best to look at the company's nutrition information, not just the menu language, Mohr says However, these good points provide better burger spots, says Portalatin: Menu variety.

Consumers now want to know what they eat, where they come from, and whether they agree with their diet. Maybe you'll be interested in the new salad-wrapped, double beef patty KetoFi burger with egg and bacon at BurgerFi, if that's your business. It's probably not like that. Burger King does not offer keto options.

This diversity makes the new burger chains friendlier to potential consumers, Portalatin says, while at the same time being satisfied. For example, if you eat a Paleo burger (two burger patties, guacamole, tomato and bacon wrapped in lettuce and 505 calories) by Elevation Burger, enjoy the taste without guilt. Well, that's burger bliss.

How will the civil war be won?

Over the past three years – though McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy's dominated the sale – Americans have called Five Guys and In-N-Out their favorite burger chain called recent Harris polls.

Despite the changing taste, not much has changed in the menus of the three big chains. Last year, McDonald's applied a single menu item made with "fresh" (never frozen) beef, raising the question of what kind of rest the burgers are made with.

For a burger chain, it's hard to change everything Innovation is progressing slowly. "They're fighting for the first time and talking about their relevance to next-generation customers," says Ryan, "but they can not go their own way."

While McDonald's and Wendy's quarreling about Twitter over their beef It tastes better, the New School chains are actually in search of the best-tasting beef and are developing bold new menu items.

"The future you can rely on is that people give food a higher aesthetic value," Ryan says. "But it's not enough just to eat. It's the experience that the next generation of burger lovers are looking for. Yes, Ryan is involved in all of this, but he only reflects on what has worked in the past – before the commercialization and subsequent dismantling of America's favorite food.

I know what I'm looking for: a great burger that I can find everywhere. If it's made of organic ingredients, it could be a bit nutritious for me as well. I'm looking for the experience of this burger from the Apple Pan, without having to travel to the Apple Pan.

We are getting closer. I can taste it.


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