Inside BurgerFi’s culinary innovations: redefining fast food dining experiences 

Established in 2011 in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida, BurgerFi®, owned by BurgerFi International, Inc., crafts exceptional burgers using fresh ingredients sourced from top American suppliers, all while upholding an unwavering commitment to flavor and quality. Upon acquiring Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings (Anthony’s) in November 2021, the company has experienced remarkable expansion. 

Indeed, as of January 2024, BurgerFi operated and franchised 168 restaurants, of which 108 were BurgerFi and 60 were Anthony’s. Carl J. Bachmann, BurgerFi’s newly appointed CEO, provides a thorough update on the company’s latest endeavors. 

BurgerFi Gets Saucy with HEINZ REMIX Debut“I assumed the role of CEO at BurgerFi just over eight months ago and have since spent much of my time meeting with franchisees, field teams, and restaurant staff. During this period, I devised a five-point business plan focused on key strategic priorities aimed at driving the business forward. Subsequently, we identified gaps in our menu offerings and have introduced new, chef-inspired selections and limited-time offers that resonate with our commitment to quality ingredients and unique flavors. Expanding our footprint has also been a major area of focus for us. I believe in delivering the BurgerFi experience to guests in ways that accommodate their preferences, which is why we’ve extended our reach to non-traditional locations such as airports, movie theaters, and entertainment parks. Additionally, we opened our first dual-branded concept, which is the first franchise location for Anthony’s in Kissimmee, Florida – the family entertainment capital of the world. This inaugural franchise location has enjoyed tremendous success, and we plan to launch new locations in strategic markets along the East Coast corridor, introducing both the BurgerFi and Anthony’s brands to a broader audience,” he begins. 

Top-tier products 

Carl shares his vision for BurgerFi, highlighting his strategy for a thriving business. “My leadership roadmap is centered around what I term ‘the three Ws’: win for the guests, win for the team members, and win for the shareholders, which includes both investors and franchisees. In addition, I adhere to five fundamental tenets: infrastructure, taste, portfolio definition, operational excellence, and marketing. Infrastructure involves building the most talented teams and thoroughly training and developing those teams. Secondly, taste and quality are prioritized throughout every aspect of our operations. Then, in terms of our portfolio definition, we consider our successes and areas of struggle across various dimensions, including real estate, regional markets, and the ambiance, look and entertainment of our establishments. Additionally, we have strong operations and audit processes in place to ensure our team consistently delivers a superior guest experience with hot, delicious food, while guaranteeing safety, and cleanliness. Lastly, we make our brands known around the world through intentional marketing efforts. At the core of our strategy lies a commitment to maintaining high quality – the entry ticket to the restaurant industry. We are dedicated to upholding this standard by offering top-tier products and innovative limited-time offerings that are truly Americana.” 

Elevating everyday dining 

BurgerFi’s continued success can be attributed to its relentless menu improvements and food innovation, which Carl discusses in greater detail. “At BurgerFi, our pursuit of innovation is grounded in culinary brainstorming sessions dedicated to enhancing our burger and chicken menu offerings with uncompromising quality. These sessions delve into a variety of culinary concepts, blending them with market insights and consumer trends, which we then test in our restaurants. Feedback from our consumers has also led us to enhance our fries, introduce salad bowls, and launch a new line of antibiotic–free, all-natural grilled and hand-breaded fried chicken, poised to win the ‘Chicken Wars’ in the restaurant category. A notable example of our commitment to making gourmet experiences accessible and elevating everyday dining is the introduction of the Prime Rib Burger. At Anthony’s, our exploration extends to a diverse array of offerings, including new pizzas like Mike’s Hot Honey pepperoni pizza, pasta dishes like spaghetti and meatballs or fettuccine Alfredo, spinach and artichoke dip with Romano focaccia, and the reintroduction of fan favorites like Sweet Caroline BBQ Wings, burrata and arugula salad, and a pepperoni and sausage stromboli. Across both BurgerFi and Anthony’s, our aim is unified innovation. This vision is embodied in our first co-branded location in Orlando, Florida, which seamlessly combines the best of both brands. Through these concerted efforts, BurgerFi continues to lead in taste excellence and culinary innovation.” 

BurgerFi chicken burgersCustomer commitment 

A key new area of development for BurgerFi over the last few years is the introduction of its Better Burger Lab™ within its leading store in New York City. “The reopening of our flagship restaurant in New York City marks a significant milestone for BurgerFi. This location serves as the ideal geographical market for our brand, thriving amidst New York City’s vibrant food, entertainment, fashion, and cultural scene. Our New York City restaurant debuts the first Better Burger Lab™, a concept that empowers our guests to actively participate in the development of new menu items while offering real-time feedback. Thus, not only is innovation around food quality and taste deeply ingrained in BurgerFi’s ethos, but we also involve our guests in our innovation process, demonstrating how much we value them. The Better Burger Lab™ creates a unique experience that reflects BurgerFi’s commitment to exceptional service and products. Some of its exclusive offerings include the new breakfast bagel burger, lemon pepper and ghost pepper honey wings, as well as our latest grilled and fried chicken sandwiches, which are currently only available in South Florida for testing. Lastly, the Better Burger Lab™ offers a unique opportunity for BurgerFi Rewards program V-Fi-P members, granting them exclusive access to tasting events,” he highlights. 

Customized sauces 

Moving forward, Carl delves into BurgerFi’s recent collaboration with industry giant, Kraft Heinz. “As part of this exclusive partnership, we are launching a trial of the HEINZ REMIX™ Machine in our company-owned restaurants across South Florida starting this March. These cutting-edge machines enable guests to create customized sauces, offering options like branded ketchup, ranch, or mayo, complemented by flavor enhancers such as jalapeño, smoky chipotle, buffalo, and mango. The Heinz REMIX machine is the first-ever customizable loT-enabled (Internet of Things) digital sauce dispenser, allowing consumers to craft their own sauces. This strategic partnership is well-aligned with our mission as a chef-crafted better burger restaurant to benefit guests. We expect to learn valuable insights from our guests through this initiative, thus further building our culinary pipeline,” adds Carl. 

With 2024 well underway, Carl explains what consumers can expect from BurgerFi for the remainder of the year. “We aspire to enter and win the Chicken Wars, enabling us to become a better burger and chicken restaurant chain. To that end, BurgerFi introduced its never-frozen Jumbo Chicken Wings, followed by a Chicken Takeover this summer featuring a new spicy fried chicken sandwich with Frank’s RedHot®, alongside our inaugural grilled chicken sandwich and salad. By offering a diverse selection ranging from indulgent burgers and chicken options to plant-based favorites like our very own VegeFi® Burger, we aim to remove the ‘veto vote’ from guests’ parties when seeking a premium experience. Alongside these expanded offerings, we’ve improved our crispy fries, kids’ meals, beer and wine selection, and our famous frozen custard shakes,” he ends. 

Through culinary innovation and exceptional guest experiences, Carl is sure to lead BurgerFi towards further growth in the future.