Fatburger CEO: We'll Survive the Better-Burger Shakeout
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- For those of us on the East Coast, Fatburger may not ring a bell, given the dozens of burger chains including Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Smashburger, Jake's Wayback Burgers and others furiously opening stores.
But, come this spring, that will change. The 60-year-old Los Angeles-based burger chain will open the first of 10 locations set for New York City through a partnership with Riese Organization, one of the largest restaurant-management companies in the area.
So-called better-burger restaurants are taking the fast-casual segment by storm. (Fast-casual sits between limited-service chains like McDonald's (MCD) and full-service restaurants such as DineEquity's (DIN) Applebee's.)
While the name Fatburger seems to be a nod toward its calorie-rich menu offerings like the XXXL Fatburger, the Fat Salad or the Fat Fries (Skinny Fries are also available), the restaurant's name is actually derived from Hollywood's Golden Age when terms like "fat cat" and "fat city" were the rage. Today, that feeling has remained with the brand. Fatburger is popular among Hollywood celebrities and has even been cited in songs by several iconic hip-hop stars.