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Beef Up Your Burger Lineup

Beef Up Your Burger Lineup

Burgers are the hottest category on full-service menus right now, but can you really make your restaurant’s offerings stand out from the crowd? It can be done. Check out how Cheesecake Factory did it with its six-item “Glamburger” menu that will soon feature the winning entry from a design-one-yourself contest that drew 30,000 participants.

The best thing about taking a menu cue from 148-unit Cheesecake Factory is that the chain has a sophisticated culinary department to develop its strategy. Also, the company does such a high volume of business that it quickly develops feedback on what will sell and what won’t.

The results of that menu development process can be seen in Cheesecake Factory’s recently introduced six-item “Glamburger” menu. Each offering consists of a basic hamburger dressed up with what the chain classifies as “creative premium” toppings. Here’s the full menu:

  • Memphis Burger—topped with slow roasted bbq pork, melted Cheddar, cole slaw, pickles and mayonnaise.
  • Monterey Cheeseburger—avocado, melted jack cheese, arugula and red onion with honey-mustard mayonnaise
  • Smokehouse BBQ Burger—smoked bacon and melted cheddar with crispy onion rings and bbq ranch sauce.
  • Sonoma Burger—herbed goat cheese, mushrooms, oven-roasted tomatoes, arugula, red onion and mayonnaise.
  • Blue Cheese B.L.T. Burger—crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayonnaise with “lots of blue cheese.”
  • Green Chile Cheeseburger—spicy fire-roasted green chiles and onions with crispy tortilla strips, tomato salsa and chipotle mayo.

It’s a solid lineup by anyone’s standards. But the chain’s customer-driven “Glamburger” contest still turned up a winner that sounds good. It’s a Wild Mushroom Burger that features three kinds of mushrooms—portobello, shiitake and cremini—plus caramelized onions, red peppers, Gruyere and Swiss cheese and demi-glace. It’s going on the “Glamburger” menu later this summer, and will remain for a year.

The contest was huge, with 30,000 burger submissions and 63,000 votes for favorites. “We appreciate the thousands of creative Glamburger submissions as well as the public’s participation in helping us choose our next great Glamburger,” says Cheesecake Factory founder David Overton.

The burgers served at your full-service restaurant don’t necessarily have to be glamorous. But you might sell more of them if you gave your customers options similar to the ones proven to work at Cheesecake Factory. You don’t even need a recipe to give it a try, since all you have to do is place a small amount of a few well-chosen ingredients on top of the burgers your kitchen already makes.

These are proven sellers. Why not give one or more a try?