September 18th is National Cheeseburger Day in the United States! Rising to popularity in the late-1920s to mid-1930s, the cheeseburger has been a longstanding menu staple across North America. As the day dedicated to this delicious sandwich approaches, this is a great time to consider how your restaurant can reinvigorate your burger offerings and put your stamp of originality on the classic. Below we explore 5 ways to amp up your cheeseburger offerings.
Pump up the flavour of your restaurant’s cheeseburger offerings by thinking beyond traditional ketchup, mayonnaise, relish and mustard. Savoury jams are trending upwards and can be used across multiple dishes within your restaurant.
Bacon chutney, garlic jam and jalapeno marmalade are a few options that can work just as beautifully on burgers and sandwiches as they can mixed into rich, creamy mashed potatoes or breakfast burritos and hashes. Best of all, house-made savoury jams offer restaurants an opportunity to brand and sell their proprietary concoctions, creating a new revenue stream.
Conventional toppings with a twist
Lettuce, onion, tomato and pickle are classic cheeseburger toppings. The bright freshness of these burger standbys cuts the richness of the protein and cheese, adds textural interest, and of course, flavour. Modernize these staples with simple swaps.
- Iceberg or romaine lettuce – SWAP with – fresh arugula, spinach, dandelion greens or red leaf lettuce
- Sliced white onion – SWAP WITH – pickled red onions, chopped scallions, or roasted shallots
- Tomato – SWAP WITH – house-made salsa, fresh fruit (e.g., peaches or pineapple), or roasted red peppers
- Pickles – SWAP WITH – pickled red cabbage slaw, kimchi, or pickled carrot ribbons
Experiment with less traditional cheeseburger cheeses like brie, fresh mozzarella and stilton to deliver a uniquely cheesy experience. Consider swapping cheese slices for a signature house-made queso using Monterey Jack, mozzarella, chopped chili, garlic and cilantro and use it on everything from cheeseburgers and nachos, to a Mexican-inspired take on eggs benedict and flatbreads.
Consumers are increasingly looking for foods with health claims such as “additive-free,” “organic” and “hormone-free,” so skip processed cheeses to enhance health perceptions and convey quality.
Building an incredible cheeseburger is equal parts art and science. Balanced textures play a huge role in a great cheeseburger experience, as well.
Deliver a crunch to complement the soft, toasted bun and succulent cheese-covered patty. Crushed up potato chips or hickory sticks, pork rinds, extra crisp bacon or fried onion strings are indulgent options perfect for diners looking to treat themselves. On the lighter side, shredded radish, cucumber slices, toasted nuts and thinly sliced apple offer the crisp that many consumers crave.
Thinking outside the bun
Pretzel buns, potato rolls, croissants, English muffins, Toast Bread anything goes nowadays! The cheeseburger has firmly positioned itself within the foodservice landscape as a forever-popular classic.
It is difficult to improve perfection, but imaginative and simple tweaks can turn a classic cheeseburger into a fierce one. Whether your restaurant is looking to remix a traditional comfort food, test drive flavours and ingredients that celebrate other cultures, or simply trying to attract adventurous Millennial visitors, the familiar and ever-trendy cheeseburger is the perfect place to start.