What is in this article?:
- Smashburger adjusts for Los Angeles market
- Burgers for the next generation
Smashburger's new décor package will define the concept’s next generation of restaurants.
Smashburger opened its 194th unit this week in Los Angeles, the first outside the Denver area to feature a new décor package that will define the concept’s next generation of restaurants.
Smashburger updates its look
Three units in Smashburger’s hometown of Denver have tested the new look, and the chain is ready to move forward in company-owned restaurants with the design, which brings modern touches to the fast-casual brand.
Tom Ryan, Smashburger’s founder and chief concept officer, said the chain is expected to pass the 200-unit milestone within about two weeks, although with several units under construction, he wasn’t sure where it would be. The chain has targeted 60 to 75 openings worldwide for 2013.
The new 2,200-square-foot, company-owned unit in the Culver City neighborhood of Los Angeles is the second of 40 to 60 planned for the sprawling metro area over the next five to seven years. The first Los Angeles-area Smashburger opened in the outlying city of Thousand Oaks last year.
Known for its Angus beef burgers that are smashed on a flat-top grill to sear in juices, the five-year-old Smashburger chain has been one of the fastest-growing brands within the increasingly crowded better burger category.
In Los Angeles, the chain faces stiff competition from California-grown brands In-N-Out Burger, Habit Burger Grill and Umami Burger. Also in the fray is East Coast-based Five Guys Burgers and Fries.
Ryan said Smashburger’s differentiated concept will appeal to Angelenos, with its focus on high-quality ingredients like Häagen-Dazs shakes, the availability of craft beer, and a lineup of creative burgers and sides that tap “latent demand” for something different.