In the better-burger race, Smashburger is gunning to become a national contender with 272 units in 32 states and five foreign countries. Known for its “smashed-to-order” burgers, with beef patties flattened on the grill to sear in juices, Denver-based Smashburger was founded in 2007 by Rick Schaden, a co-founder and former owner of the Quiznos sandwich chain. Smashburger is owned by Schaden’s private-equity firm Consumer Capital Partners. Co-founder Tom Ryan, who also ...

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