This past November, we posted on BurgerIM planting a flag in Buffalo. The franchisee chose Hertel as the initial location, but there are plans to open a couple more in the area, according to general manager Jason Briandi. “Hertel is a great fit for this operation,” said Briandi, who comes from more of a fine restaurant background, but felt that he could not pass up on joining the BurgerIM team. “BurgerIM is very family friendly, which is why we think this is going to be such a good fit for Hertel. This is the perfect type of restaurant to feed a family – there are bigger burgers for those who want something more substantial, and then there are flights of burgers, for those who want to try a few different styles.”
During a visit to BurgerIM yesterday, Briandi introduced me to a visiting franchise trainer who was busy instructing the new staff on how to execute the menu/service properly. It was around that time that I began to understand just how different BurgerIM really was. Apparently, by the time you take all of the different styles of made-to-order gourmet burgers, and all of the different toppings, there are over 40 million different combinations to choose from… which is why BurgerIM can truly say there is something for everyone. From the diehard meat lover to the dedicated vegan, everyone will be accommodated at BurgerIM. In fact, the suffix IM in the Israeli global gourmet fast food hamburger chain’s name translates to “many burgers” in Hebrew – this particular eatery (#236 in the country) is also Halal. But not all of the restaurants in the chain are Halal – it’s up to the individual franchise owner. Some of the BurgerIM’s even serve beer… and mixed drinks, but that’s not the case with the Hertel location.
Briandi is very excited to introduce the first BurgerIM to Buffalonians. He told me that he is amazed at how quickly the franchise is growing – it is expected that there will be 300 up and running by year’s end. The menu reflects that growth too. Apparently there were four original burger styles, but that number has now doubled. And when we’re talking about burgers, we’re not talking about your average patty. In this case, customers can choose from angus, Spanish, and dry-aged beef. There’s also a Greek lamb, turkey, Hawaiian salmon, and a falafel burger. There’s even a grilled chicken burger and crispy chicken burger, which, I suppose might not exactly fall into the burger category, but in this case it somehow does. Anyways, all of the toppings for each of the burgers can be mixed and matched. Then, there are a bunch of add-ons such as fried egg, pineapple, and avocado.
I asked Briandi what his favorite meal was, and he said, without hesitation, “The dry aged beef, and the cookies & cream shake!” He pointed out that there were salads, kid’s meals, chicken wings, styled fries… and three burger “buns” to choose from – the BurgerIM bun, the gluten free bun, and the lettuce wrap. So don’t feel like the servers are going to look at you sideways if you order your burger with a lettuce “bun”; these guys and gals take pride in catering to everyone.
Similar to a box of donuts, these boxes are filled with an assortment of burgers, wings, rings, etc.
Speaking of catering, Briandi mentioned that he was excited to cater to the neighborhood and the business community. “I can’t wait to introduce people to the family boxes and the party boxes,” he said. ” Similar to a box of donuts, these boxes are filled with an assortment of burgers, wings, rings, etc.”
BurgerIM first launched in 2015 on the West Coast. But now it is taking the country by storm. Briandi told me that he felt that the success was due to all of the burger possibilities, the sophisticated-looking interior, and the family friendliness.
I understand that their “Uncut Burger” (vegan) is “sorta like an Impossible Burger” but better. That’s definitely on my list of burgers that I want to try. Until now, the only way to do that was to visit another city – the closest being Cleveland.
BurgerIM opens this Friday. Patio coming next year.
BurgerIM | 1460 Hertel Avenue | Buffalo NY | 716-495-8888 | Open 7 days a week | Catering & Delivery