Hamburgers are considered a classic American food. While some people enjoy eating burgers from fast-food chains, many favor independent hamburger businesses due to their better quality and service. It may not be difficult to make a better burger than one can buy at a fast-food place, but selling them and making a living doing so is a more difficult task. However, there are several things you can do to grow a successful hamburger business.
Specialize in a specific type of hamburger. With the many hamburger restaurants and chains you'll be competing with, you'll need to differentiate yourself. Your draw could be organic hamburgers, upscale, gourmet hamburgers or burgers made with exotic meats.
Contact your state's health department to see what type of permits are needed to start a food business. Depending on where you decide to sell your burgers, you may need sales tax permits, an assumed name certificate, food handler permits, a food enterprise license or food manager certification.
Determine what venue you will use to sell your hamburgers. Options include opening a concession truck, vending in a shopping mall food court or similar space, or opening a brick-and-mortar burger restaurant. A concession truck is the least expensive, while opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant presents the largest financial risk.
Develop a full menu for your hamburger business, including beverages and side items, if you will be opening a stationary restaurant. Those operating concession trailers should stick to a limited menu. Your storage and preparation space will be limited.
Source your ingredients, particularly meat and produce, from local purveyors if at all possible. Doing so will not only keep your transportation costs down, but you will be using the freshest ingredients possible. You can also leverage the fact that you use local ingredients for your public-relations efforts.
Purchase wholesale plates, cups, flatware and napkins. In the long run, paying retail would result in spending a considerable amount of extra money.
Develop characteristics for your business that make it stand out from the competition. Think about what can make your hamburger joint unique, aside from the burgers themselves. Decor, customer service, serving style, packaging and atmosphere are a few areas you can focus on.
Promote your burger business. Buy radio and targeted internet ads, launch a promotional website, send press releases to local media outlets and consider offering exclusive deals through a service such as Groupon.