The customer is always right, so the adage goes. Especially nowadays, as more and more consumers frequent operations that let them customize menu items to their personal tastes.

The growing casualization of the industry, prompted in large part by the sluggish economy, has encouraged customers to switch from higher-priced restaurants to budget-friendly fast-casual and quick-service eateries that offer them greater say about what goes into their meals. Customization can also signal freshness and create a health halo forconsumers who want to substitute or omit certain ingredients.1

The gourmet hamburger boom in particular has ushered in a wealth of new choices for burger lovers. The inducements may include Kobe, Angus and grass-fed beef patties, ciabatta, sourdough and brioche buns and a slew of garnishes, sauces and condiments. In fact, according to one study, 67 percent of heavy burger consumers say that it is very important that they can customize toppings.2

Customization is taken to the max at The Counter, a Los Angeles-based gourmet burger chain. Customers start by selecting a beef, turkey or vegan patty or a chicken breast. From there, they pick from dozens of toppings that range from carrot strings to hard boiled eggs to spicy pepperoncinis. According to the company, more than 312,120 different burger builds are possible.

Punch Burger in Indianapolis is a veritable mecca for build-your-own cheeseburger fans, featuring American, Swiss, cheddar, blue, pepper jack, parmesan and cream cheese options. Wow Burger in Portland, Ore., offers Wow It! toppings such as applewood bacon, avocado, thin-sliced ham, turkey chili, pineapple and cage-free fried egg.

However, even with the embellishment of burgers, one thing is unchanged: ketchup is king. Research shows that 73 percent of people still want ketchup on their burger.3 Putting a bottle of Heinz, America’s Favorite Ketchup®, on the tabletop allows patrons to easily customize their burgers, French fries, hot dogs and many other items exactly the way they like them. In fact, 75% of consumers in one study said they believe condiment selection is as important as menu selection.4

Operators can satisfy their patrons’ craving to customize and benefit their bottom lines by stocking the 14-oz. Heinz® Ketchup Classic Squeeze bottle, the lowest-cost Heinz tabletop option available. It is the ideal size for small, independent operations and can be easily recycled.

In addition, the iconic Classic Squeeze bottle can help you and your customers support Wounded Warrior Project®, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. To take part, stock your tables with Heinz®Ketchup bottles that have the special “Our Turn To Serve” label. These bottles feature a quick response (QR) code that customers can scan with their smartphones to send a personalized Thank You Card to a veteran or active duty service member. For every Thank You Card sent Heinz will donate $1 to Wounded Warrior Project, and if your customer shares their participation via social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram), Heinz will donate an additional $.57, up to $250,000. Consumers will be prompted to name your restaurant in their post, helping you to drive traffic and build loyalty.

All told, 2013 marks the third year that Heinz® Ketchup has helped Americans honor and support our veterans and active service membersthis way. In 2011 and 2012, 1.7 million QR codes were scanned in restaurants, over 500,000 personalized Thank You Cards were sent to veterans and more than $560,000 was raised for Wounded Warrior Project.

For more information about Heinz®Ketchup, other condiments and dispensing formats, visit www.HeinzFoodservice.comor call 1-855-57-HEINZ.


1Technomic Flavor Consumer Trend Report 2009
2Technomic Burger Consumer Trend Report 2009
3Technomic Burger Consumer Trend Report 2009
4Heinz proprietary condiment consumption CLT