This Is the Fastest Growing Burger Chain In America, New Data Shows
Burgers are a good horse to bet on. Compared to other restaurant concepts that have struggled since the pandemic, the most consistently performing chains continue to be the ones that serve beef between two buns, clocking in an additional 13% of sales in 2021.
The old burger giants better watch out, however. There is a new up-and-coming restaurant chain that's growing at an unprecedented pace. Casual dining chain Wahlburgers has seen tremendous growth, proving there is always room for a good burger concept to stake a claim in the market. In fact, according to the Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, the brand has seen a near 104% increase in sales since 2019, when most restaurants were battling pandemic setbacks.
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Massachusetts-based Wahlburgers is owned by chef Paul Wahlberg and his brothers, actors Donnie and Mark. The chain has been operating since 2011 and currently has 90+ locations across 23 states, spanning from East to West Coast.
Besides the celebrity status of the owners, the chain is known for its top-notch gourmet burgers, which use a blend of fresh Angus beef. The premium American cheese melted on them is humorously referred to as "government cheese," an homage to the Wahlberg family's humble roots.
According to the Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, Wahlburgers is the fastest-growing burger chain in America by a long shot. Other burger brands showing major sales growth of their own are Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, which increased its sales by 41.63% since 2019, Culver's with a growth of 38.64%, and Farmer Boys with 28.53% sales growth. Additionally, Five Guys (25.95%), Cook-Out Restaurant (24.94%), SONIC Drive-In (24.49%), Shake Shack (23.20%), In-N-Out Burger (22.51%), and Whataburger (20.87%) all saw significant growth during that period.
Part of Wahlburgers' astonishing success has been due to a successful deal with grocery giant Hy-Vee, which replaced all 21 of its shuttered Market Grille restaurants with the locations of the burger chain.
Correction: May 17.2022
An earlier version of this article misidentified Wahlburgers as having 52 locations. The company has informed us it has 90+ locations, including locations in Canada, Australia, and Germany.
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