US burger chain heading down under

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 5th November 2008

The Counter, a rapidly expanding American burger chain that enables consumers to build their own burgers, is coming to Sydney in December.

At the innovative restaurant consumers are given a clipboard upon entry and asked to choose the ingredients they desire on their burger from an extensive list. The selection process begins with the decision of the type of burger – Angus beef, grilled chicken, turkey or veggie. Then one of ten cheeses, four out of a range of 28 toppings and one of 18 sauces can be selected and, finally, one of three bun types. According to the company, some 312,120+ combinations are possible dictating that “rarely is the same burger made twice in a day”.

“We’re giving the power back to the customer,” Jeff Weinstein, founder of The Counter, has claimed. “We’re putting the choice in their hands. Ultimately, they’re responsible for what goes on their burger. They own that burger. It has their name on it.”

Consumers are given the opportunity to save time and choose from six “signature” burgers, but the notion of choice seems to be a popular one with 80 per cent choosing to build their own.

The fast-food chain, which has expanded to fifteen outlets in the US since first opening in California in 2003, will be first seen in the Sydney suburb of Crows Nest – marking the second international restaurant for the US franchise following the opening of a store in Ireland.