Starting a restaurant is a tricky business – at least as tricky as walking a tightrope across Niagara Falls or winning at uptown pokies.  Not only are restaurants statistically likely to fail, if you’re interested in starting something like a burger joint, but you’re also in for some tough competition. McDonald’s, Burger King, White Castle – the list goes on.

The Meat

The most fundamental ingredient of the hamburger is, of course, the meat. There are so many varieties to choose from, from a huge range of animals and tastes.

I prefer three specific types of meat for my hamburgers. Beef, lamb, and chicken. Combining these also create incredible tasting new options, such as beef mixed with lamb fat, which is an incredibly succulent combination.

However, hamburgers aren’t just limited to these three types of meat. There is also tofu, lab-grown, and, of course, different cuts of meat have vastly different flavors. Cuts such as entrecote, shoulder, brisket, chuck, and short ribs all are made and taste completely different.

You have to balance cost versus taste versus branding. After all, beef is the basic ingredient of a burger, so switching it up already sets you up to stand out.

Special Ingredients

The meat can be the best, most expensive and well prepared it can possibly be, but just adding some special ingredients can drastically increase the flavor for a fraction of the time and cost.

In the meat, it’s possible to put Dijon mustard (chunky or smooth), soda, Seltzer, eggs, onions, bread crumbs, and spices like paprika, pepper, salt, and powdered garlic.

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After the patty is placed in the bun, that’s when the usual toppings are added that everyone knows about, such as lettuce, tomato, onion slices, mayo, ketchup, and pickles.

And you shouldn’t stop there! Get creative! Who’d have thought that Chicken and Waffles would work together, but here we are.

The Bun

Getting the right bun is critical to the process of making the perfect hamburger. You don’t want a crumbly bun or a bun that is too dry, or too thick. The bun and the burger have to be appropriate for one another, in a perfect symbiosis of flavor.

There are many styles of buns, and you have to find the right one for your burger.

Does the bun have seeds on it? What kind? There are black seeds, white seeds, sesame seeds – but maybe you don’t want seeds at all. Should the bun be buttered and toasted?

It’s up to you to get it all right. No pressure.

The Gimmick

There are literally millions of hamburger restaurants out there, and the trick is to stand out from the crowd. What makes YOUR hamburger special? You need a gimmick.

For instance, you could add pineapple to make a “tropical” burger, or add eggs to it, or go full American and replace the bun with donuts.

Your restaurant itself could also have a gimmick. Maybe you can go Wild, Wild, West and theme out your business, or else have a naval theme and serve “submarine” burgers. It’s important to pick a theme that neither you nor your customers will get sick of any time soon (in other words, no Christmas theme!).

Basic Business

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For some reason, many people simply can’t wrap their heads around the basics of business. Listen, it’s not exactly rocket science. It’s common sense and high school math.

Before you start your business, you need to consider how much it’s gonna cost you before you start making a profit.

How much will the equipment cost? Rent? Employees? Electricity? And how many double patty cheeseburgers are you gonna have to sell to cover that overhead?

Sometimes people get these ideas to start a restaurant, so they rent out a location and start selling hot dogs, but if they did the math then they’d realize that they need to sell thirty thousand hotdogs a day just to cover their rent!

Obviously, I’m being hyperbolic, but it never hurts to be thorough.

You’ll find a lot more success that way.


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