Burgers are a summer staple, and while they’re always a crowd-pleaser, it’s vital to tap into the consumer mindset to stand out from the competition. Translating modern burger trends like customization, adventurous flavors, and over-the-top condiments can help your burger business boom.
Keepin’ it Classic
Classic toppings, cheeses, carriers, and condiments still hold the widest appeal among consumers overall. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t put a twist on your traditional offerings to entice guests. Elevating the basics of burgers can make something classic feel inspired. Experiment with tomato jam instead of tomatoes, arugula in place of shredded lettuce, even pickled onions or crispy shoestrings instead of plain white varieties. A brioche or pretzel bun, swapping in a plant-based burger or black bean burger, or even blending HEINZ® Ketchup with spicy harissa paste paired with the classics can bring just a touch of modern trends for those burger buffs who tend to not stray too far from the familiar.
Customization: a trend that soared last year and continues to trend across the industry. Today’s diners seek more than just a meal; they crave an interactive dining experience. A recent report showed that restaurants offering build-your-own burger options saw a near 40% rise in customer satisfaction scores. A wide variety of toppings and sauces are essential, but ensure you have protein options for different diets and maybe bun options like gluten-free. The ability for guests to customize their own burger helps provide a sense of fulfillment and can encourage repeat business.
Go All the Way
Indulgence is still very much in demand, and guests are drawn to jaw-dropping, Instagram-worthy burgers. According to one social media analysis, burger posts with "over-the-top" ingredients experienced around a 70% increase in engagement and reach compared to traditional burger posts. Restaurants that have embraced extravagant toppings like fried eggs, bacon jam, and unique cheese blends have witnessed an impressive 45% surge in foot traffic. Beyond that, Instagrammable creations can attract younger demographics and generate free publicity through social media shares.
Other studies point to decadent toppings like fig jam, peanut butter, hummus, and infused aiolis as trending toppers. Consider going all out with a burger topped with roasted tomato, shiitake mushroom jam, gruyere cheese, candied bacon, or decadent toppings like Kraft® Mac & Cheese to satisfy customer cravings.
Smashed, Mashed & (Break) Fast
According to Datassential, this year’s top trends are smashed burgers, creative mashups, and brunch burgers.1 Burgers topped with over easy or sunny side eggs and sometimes even hash browns are now a brunch spot staple. And with more than 40% of consumers interested in a breakfast burger, it’s wise to have at least one option for the brunch and lunch crowd.
Fusion is nothing new, and we’ve seen it gain popularity with global flavors, and diners enjoying blended comfort foods like BBQ and pizza. That trend hasn’t escaped burgers either. Get creative with mashups like a chicken and waffle burger, a lobster roll burger, or consider an Asian-inspired burger with wagyu beef, sliced pork belly, gingered coleslaw, and combine Kraft® Deluxe Mayo with spicy gochujang for a flavor mashup that can’t be ignored.
Smashed burgers are also having their moment. The thin, caramelized patties are simple, yet craveable and allow you to flex culinary creativity with toppings. Keep it classic or serve ‘em up double or triple stacked to not only entice customers to indulge but to give you an opportunity to upcharge.
1Datassential: The World of Burgers, 2023
Content provided in partnership with Kraft Heinz