The quick service burger wars are heating up and one relative newcomer -- Smashburger -- is poised for the challenge.
Last year, Forbes picked Smashburger as America's most promising company. A month later, the company announced expansion plans to Latin America. For a Denver-based company that only got its start five years ago, that's pretty impressive.
Now, the 160-unit chain is launching its first major marketing campaign, Nation's Restaurant News reports. The chain is launching a radio campaign that features the Smashburger Burger Smasher, a new brand character, and using the new tagline "Smashed fresh. Served delicious."
But that's not all. Smashburger is also going after one of its major rivals: In-N-Out. The company is hoping to open 40 to 60 locations in the Los Angeles area in the next seven years. Food Republic has its money on Smashburger, thanks to the "superior" burger.
So what exactly makes this burger "superior?" The chain smashes, sears and seasons its meat to order. It offers a huge range of customizations, or you can choose from a suggested menu. Over a dozen sauces and toppings are free, and cheese is $0.70 extra.
If Smashburger wants to win this burger war, it's not only In-N-Out that the company has to contend with. Forbes just named Five Guys as the country's fastest-growing restaurant chain.
Smashburger currently has locations in 27 states. That's only 23 more to go!
<a href="http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/matts-bar-minneapolis-99603">Matt's Bar</a> and the <a href="http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/5-8-club-minneapolis-341369">5-8 Club</a> -- Minneapolis, Minnesota How does one burger cause so much controversy? Located on the same street in Minneapolis, both Matt's Bar and the 5-8 Club have laid claim to the creation of the burger known as the Juicy Lucy, with a generous helping of cheese between two patties. Brace yourself as you take your first bite, a steaming hot flow of cheese is bound to catch you. <em>Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thegirlsny/5950477534/" target="_hplink">TheGirlsNY</a>.</em>
<a href="http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/teds-meriden-378703">Ted's Restaurant</a> -- Meriden, Connecticut None of us would picture our burgers coming out of a small drawer. Well, at Ted's Restaurant in Meriden, trays were created to hold small mounds of hamburger meat and cheese. Those trays are then placed into those drawers, where they're steamed to perfection. Gracing hungry diners' plates for well over 100 years, the steamed burger has gotten the attention of many popular food authorities like <em>Hamburger America</em> and <em>Man v. Food</em>.
Green Chile Cheeseburger
<a href="http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/horsemans-haven-cafe-santa-fe-203524">Horseman's Haven Cafe</a> -- Santa Fe, New Mexico In the southwest, all you have to do is add New Mexico's staple chile to pretty much any dish. One of those dishes is the cheeseburger. Horseman's Haven Cafe, on the outskirts of Santa Fe, New Mexico, does that burger justice. Just be careful that the chile itself is hot enough to make you see the Four Horsemen. <em>Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wordridden/6311983252/" target="_hplink">WordRidden</a>.</em>
<a href="http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/wheel-inn-sedalia-745789">Wheel Inn</a> -- Sedalia, Missouri The Guberburger, created at The Wheel Inn in Sedalia, Missouri, places peanut butter, lettuce, tomatoes and Miracle Whip between two buns. Though The Wheel Inn closed in 2007, it has been resurrected under the ownership of a former employee.
<a href="http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/sollys-grille-milwaukee-596989">Solly's Grille</a> -- Milwaukee, Wisconsin The Butter Burger is so named because the meat patty, when being cooked, is drenched in butter. Once done, it is once again slathered in butter. Since 1936, Solly's Grille in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been using nothing but the finest ingredients to churn out its signature butter burgers, winning Best of Milwaukee awards from the <em>Milwaukee Journal</em>. The Butter Burger was put on the national map in a television ad for Miller Lite.
<a href="http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/crown-burgers-salt-lake-city-544773">Crown Burgers</a> -- Salt Lake City, Utah For three decades, a really popular New York deli meat has been rooming with an unlikely partner. Take a trip out west to Salt Lake City, Utah, you'll find that your traditional pastrami has found its way into a burger. The pastrami burger was popularized by a Greek family, the Katsanevas, at their restaurant, Crown Burgers. <em>Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/symic/6063123345/" target="_hplink">Symic</a>.</em>
<a href="http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/hukilau-cafe-laie-745790">Hukilau Cafe</a> -- Laie, Hawaii If the sunshine and beautiful beaches of Hawaii aren't enough of a reason to get up and book a flight, the Hukilau Cafe has been putting their spin on burgers for years. Their take on the Teriyaki burger coats the patty in teriyaki sauce, topped with pineapples, and includes a fried egg. <em>Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thegirlsny/6060760499/" target="_hplink">TheGirlsNY</a>.</em>
<a href="http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/wimpys-grill-durham-313056">Wimpy's Grill</a> -- Durham, North Carolina The Carolinas are known for their burgers with everything. At Wimpy's Grill in Durham, North Carolina, they take that quite literally. The burger is jam-packed with everything on the menu. It's so messy that I recommend eating it outdoors.
<a href="http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/weekss-diner-booneville-745791">Weeks' Diner</a> -- Booneville, Mississippi Created during the Great Depression, a slugburger extends its beef with soybean grits. The burger is then topped with mustard, dill pickles, and onions. They are tiny but tasty, especially at Week's Diner in Booneville, Mississippi. <em>Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/southernfoodwaysalliance/4437684027/" target="_hplink">Southern Foodways Alliance</a>.</em>
Québec Style Burger
<a href="http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/montreal-pool-room-montreal-745792">Montreal Pool Room</a> -- Montreal, Québec The province of Québec is known for its unique style of hot dogs. The "steamie" is loaded with relish, mustard, and coleslaw. For a similar style of <em>casse-croute</em> burger, go to the Montreal Pool Room. Load your burger with tomatoes, relish, mustard, and coleslaw. However, there is no actual working pool table at the Montreal Pool Room. <em>Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/36716657@N00/4079003085/" target="_hplink">Y-Not</a>.</em>