Published on: September 13, 2010There is an old saying that there are really only seven original ideas in the world, and that everything else consists of a combination of one and four, six and seven, one and four and six, and so on.
Imagine if this notion were applied to the tried-and-true hamburger.
The Associated Press had a piece the other day about a new Manhattan burger spot with an interesting approach to marketing - it is encouraging patrons to create their own burgers and then add them to the restaurant’s online menu. And then, if someone orders the patron’s burger, the creator gets a 25-cent credit on future purchases.
This newfangled approach to the burger biz is called 4Food, and is located on 40th Street and Madison in midtown, and when you order “you can go at your own pace on one of the bolted down iPads. When you get to your table, you can continue dreaming up great creations — there's free Wi-Fi for browsing the Web while eating. You also also see Foursquare check ins and tweets about the experience on their 240-square-foot LED monitor, if that's your thing. And if it's all just too confusing, prebuilt burgers also are available.”
It isn’t just the ordering process that is different. According to the story, founder Adam Kidrom “ doesn't like the way the average fast food burger ends up overcooked to make sure it is safe to eat. So after considering the barbecue trick of indenting the middle of a burger patty to help it cook more evenly, he decided to try removing the center entirely. From there, it was an easy leap to fill the hole with something delicious ... 25 different mixtures called VeggieScoops, such as avocado chili mango or edamame with sea salt.”
4Food “offers five different buns, eight types of patties, 25 VeggieScoops, nine different slices (such as onions and pickles), seven cheeses and 16 condiments,” AP writes. And that doesn’t include lettuce and tomato.
“My idea is that business is as progressive as you want it to be,” Kidrom says. "It can make lives more interesting and better. 4food is not the same old thing.”
In other words, a burger joint with a differential advantage that sets it apart from other burger joints. Which is at least part of the recipe for sustainable success.
That’s my Monday Eye-Opener.
- Kevin Coupe
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