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burger ingredients

How to Build Burgers From $6.99 to $699.99

Discover the burger add-ons that stand out, wow patrons, and justify higher prices in the restaurant industry.

Burgers hold strong on the list of best-sellers on foodservice menus, their superstar status enduring, unshakeable, and open to a world of creative interpretations. At their most basic, burgers come close to perfection—seasoned ground beef, pattied thick or thin, grilled, fried, griddled, or smashed, and tucked into a bun.

Within that seemingly simple format is a near-endless world of build-out opportunity with enough variety to ensure that burgermania never cools. Here’s a breakdown of core components plus idea-planting options for different food and drink menu price points.

Burger Patty: Most of the food cost resides in a burger’s patty, protein choice dictating form and flavor. Beef may be the standard bearer for burgers but it’s only one in a growing list of options, which include ground turkey, chicken, lamb, and pork among an increasing number of plant-based versions, either analogs or bean/lentil- or vegetable-based. Beef versions are easiest to dial up the price point, different cuts of meat added to the grind. Prime beef, ground short ribs, Wagyu or Wagyu style, brisket, hanger steak, and even pancetta are among those cuts that can be blended with chuck. Topping or stuffing the patty with something super-luxe such as pork belly, foie gras, or beef cheeks also draws intrigue and interest on menus.

Buns: Basic hamburger buns, sesame seeds on top or not, always get the job done while going easy on food costs. Extra distinction can come from brioche buns, pretzel rolls, potato rolls, kaiser rolls, gluten-free, and even croissants, any one of them glossed with butter and lightly grilled as desired. The key qualification is that the bun is sturdy enough to support the inner workings.

Cheese: Cheeseburgers are one of the most popular burgers in the world. Cheesy possibilities abound, with the main consideration for selection being how it melts. American, cheddar, Swiss, and blue hold steady as crowd favorites. Butterkäse, brie, Stilton, Emmental, gouda, and provolone along with flavored cheese such as beer cheese, pimiento, and Liptauer are options for upscaling.

Condiments: Starting with the most basic ketchup, mustard, pickles, and lettuce, this list is rich with possibilities. Fried egg, avocado, smoked jalapeños, béarnaise aioli, heirloom or dried tomatoes, kimchee, pickled onions, roasted bell peppers, mac and cheese, teriyaki sauce, sautéed mushrooms, and fried onion rings just begin to hint at the delicious possibilities.

10 Burgers, 10 Price Points

  1. Gold Standard Burger: A5 Wagyu beef topped with caviar, fresh black truffle, cognac-flambéed lobster, aged Irish cheddar, and gold leaf served with Manuka-honey-drizzled French fries and a 1-ounce pour of cognac, $700.
  2. Wagyu Burger: Tenderloin patty stuffed with foie gras, topped with truffles, and pickled red onions on a pretzel bun, $50.
  3. The Frenchie: Angus beef topped with pork belly, tomato compote, raclette cheese, and Dijon mustard on brioche bun, $29.
  4. Viva Vegan Burger: Spiced plant-based patty, vegan bun, roasted tomatoes, butter lettuce, avocado, and eggless garlic mayonnaise, $28.99.
  5. Truffle Burger: Beef with cheese, bacon, truffle butter, frisée, pickled shallot, fried egg, and truffle aioli, $26.99.
  6. Burger Royale: Beef patty topped with caramelized onions, butterkäse cheese, dill pickle, and remoulade sauce on brioche bun, $22.
  7. Lamb Patty Melt: Double lamb smash patties, griddled onions, pickled cranberries, black garlic, and ale mustard, $20.
  8. Pork Burger: Pork patty with pickled red onions, tomatoes, cabbage, bacon, mozzarella, and rosemary aioli on housemade bun, $17.75.
  9. Silver Fox Burger: Freshly ground beef chuck with cheddar and bacon on brioche bun, $15.
  10. Old-Time Chili Cheeseburger: Ground beef, American cheese, chili, mustard, and pickles on a classic bun, $6.99.

The information provided is based on a general industry overview and is not specific to your business operation. Each business is unique, and decisions related to your business should be made after consultation with appropriate experts.

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