Emerging Concepts

An Inside Scoop on Dugg Burger

There’s something new under the sun in the better-burger category, and it’s as simple as digging out the bun.

The first Dugg Burger opened last month in Dallas under the ownership of industry veterans Jeff Braunstein, Martin Hennessy, Jeremy Samson, and Scott Spence. Spence, who previously held senior marketing positions at Taco Bell and Church’s Chicken, says Dugg Burger’s method of hollowing out buns to make extra room for toppings was born out of efficiency.

Sweetgreen Upgrades Spring Menu with Salmon

Sweetgreen has upped the ante on its premium salads with the addition of salmon. The Washington, D.C.–based fast casual will serve the new protein for nine weeks as part of its spring seasonal menu.

“This, to me, is a game changer because there’s no one else doing what we’re doing with salmon,” says Michael Stebner, director of culinary innovation. Salmon can be added to any salad, and the spring menu also showcases it in the Roasted Salmon + Radish specialty salad.

Start to Finish: Kathleen Wood

I unequivocally love the foodservice industry. Since I was 14 years old, being around this business has been my life. The local Italian restaurant in my town growing up was my first experience, and I held almost every job there, including cooking right alongside the grandma of the family-owned establishment. I then had a great opportunity to work for McDonald’s, and even though I never forecasted it to be a career, the industry became a passion for me. With McDonald’s, I started as a crewmember, and then became a crew leader, a trainer, and eventually a shift leader.

Salsa Fiesta Tests Half Limited, Half Full-Service Model

When Salsa Fiesta opened its sixth domestic location last month, it rolled out a hybrid service model: quick serve for weekday lunches and full-service dining for evenings and weekends. Prior to opening the newest store in Miami Lakes, Florida, the Mexican concept had exclusively used limited service, but founder and CEO Cesar Olivo gives the impression that the transition was somewhat natural.

Ones to Watch: Billy Sims BBQ

Billy Sims says more people recognize him these days for his restaurants than for being a Heisman Trophy winner, which proves he’s more than just the name behind the Billy Sims BBQ chain.

“I get around to a lot of the stores, and I’ve done a lot of TV commercials,” Sims says. “People come up to me all the time and say, ‘I’ve tried your barbecue.’ That’s OK, because we want to know about their experiences.”

Java and Juice Team Up in Southern California

Pairing Colombia-sourced espresso with a cold-pressed carrot-pineapple juice may sound counterintuitive, but for Verve Coffee Roasters, the combination was a no-brainer. The Los Angeles–based operator partnered with another local quick serve, Juice Served Here, to open a 1,600-square-foot combo store in the fashion district in February.

Top Round Roast Beef Names First Franchisee

Top Round Roast Beef announced its first franchisee will be opening multiple stores in San Jose, California.  The chef-driven fast food concept has selected restaurant industry veteran Ricardo Lopez to open its first franchised locations.  The first San Jose Top Round Roast Beef restaurant is expected to open by the end of 2015.

“San Jose already loves roast beef and chef-driven restaurants,” says Ricardo Lopez, Top Round franchisee.  “From our first bite of Top Round, we knew it would be a hit in San Jose.”