Few foods performed well during the pandemic, but burgers remained a must-have meal. While pressing concerns forced many restaurants to forgo burger innovation, operators are once again beginning to experiment with extravagant takes on America’s favorite sandwich.
Luckily, burger LTOs continue to register high appeal and excitement with consumers. According to Datassential’s 2021 Burger Keynote, nearly 80% of consumers report they eat burgers away from home at least once a month. Additionally, Technomic found that 48 percent of consumers report trying an LTO menu item every month, with 30% of consumers ages 18 to 44 trying an LTO every week.
Below are four burger trends, recent real-world examples from restaurants, and inspiration for creating your own over-the-top burgers.
TREND #1: PREMIUM MEAT COMBOS
Using upscale meats is one of the most favored mega trends among consumers, with over 40% expressing interest, according to Datassential.
ON THE MENU: SWAG Burger, BurgerFi
BurgerFi launched the SWAG Burger, featuring a double Wagyu and brisket blend burger patty topped with charred jalapeños, candied ghost pepper bacon, sweet tomato relish, pepper Jack cheese and hot steak sauce. The SWAG Burger, which stands for Spicy Wagyu Burger, was a limited time offer that was originally slated to end in May. However, it was extended until the end of June, followed by the decision to make it a permanent item starting the first week of July. Available nationwide, it quickly became a top-selling premium burger on the chain’s menu.
The options for burger blending are endless—from short rib and brisket to Black Angus grass-fed beef and lamb.