DENVER —With a $15 million war chest of invested capital and plenty of raw, half-pound balls of Certified Angus beef, a local private-equity firm founded by Quiznos’ former chairman and chief executive is smashing its way into the burgeoning “better-burger” segment. Smashburger, now with five units in metropolitan Denver, features third-pound and half-pound Angus burgers that are smashed on the grill, searing the meat and supposedly ...

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