With units in seven different countries around the world, Smashburger must be doing something right. And actually, it’s doing a lot of things right. But at the core of its success is menu development.
“Basically, the way our menus are designed around the country is there’s a regional burger that’s designed to celebrate something very local and very regional,” says Tom Ryan, Smashburger’s founder.
Burgers make up over 80 percent of the concept’s menu, and there’s a specific process to attain each burger’s smashing flavor. “We start with certified Angus beef — fresh, never frozen. Every morning, we ball them up into freshly made meatballs and when you order it at the counter, we actually paint our 385-degree grills with butter, smash our burger into the butter, which causes this great sear [and] great flavor development in a shell that keeps all the juices in,” says Ryan.