The Habit Burger Grill unveiled a temporary rebrand at its Glendale restaurant as The Habit Sandwich Grill amidst a spirited debate centered around its iconic offering, The Santa Barbara Char.

Although The Santa Barbara Char has graced the menu as a burger for a full decade, recently a social media post prompted fans of the brand and dedicated employees to rally for its reclassification as a sandwich, primarily because it’s served on bread rather than the customary burger bun. This temporary alteration of the restaurant’s name has been a decade-long culmination of this ongoing dispute.

The dispute surged into the spotlight recently due to a video from renowned burger influencer @SamBurgerRodriguez who asked her followers whether or not the Santa Barbara Char was a sandwich or a burger, triggering an avalanche of passionate responses. One user commented, “No disrespect to burgers, but that [expletive redacted] thing is a sandwich, and I will wrestle anyone who says otherwise.”

While an opposing comment proclaimed, “It’s a burger a sandwich has deli meats c’mon.(sic)wtf are we this dumbed down???”

At the unveiling, Chief Marketing Officer, Jack Hinchliffe, stepped up to the mic for the big reveal.

“We’re here to address the controversy over our famous Santa Barbara Char,” Hinchliffe explained at the podium. “This unveiling marks a significant announcement. After a decade of internal disagreements and passionate pleas from our fans as well as the most recent video on social media, we’re officially opening the door for the possibility of the Santa Barbara Char to join the ranks of sandwiches.”

Hinchliffe went on to express gratitude for employee Kassandra McCalister, the Habit Truck Manager who took to the streets, bullhorn in hand, to gather signatures for a petition in an effort to re-categorize the product, all of which was documented on the brand’s social media channels.

“Kass, our Habit truck manager, has been collecting signatures on the streets for weeks, and the numbers don’t lie. I’m thrilled to announce that the new Habit SANDWICH Grill will serve as a symbolic starting point for this impending debate.”

McCalister’s journey extends beyond street campaigning. In an effort to get opinions from both sides of the sandwich vs. burger political aisle, she sought expert advice, including Andrew Binder, owner of L.A.’s iconic “Philippe The Original,” famed for the French Dip Sandwich’s invention. Binder, a fourth-generation sandwich expert, unequivocally labeled the Santa Barbara Char as a sandwich. On October 19, she’ll join burger aficionado Sam Zien, aka Sam the Cooking Guy, at Samburgers Restaurant in San Diego to prepare the Santa Barbara Char and get his take.

“We appreciate Kassandra’s determination to prove this is a sandwich, and she’s making progress and has opened our eyes to this cause,” says Hinchliffe. “That said, we’ve also heard passionate arguments from anti-sandwich groups and burger advocates who beg to differ. Therefore, we are turning to the public for a verdict. Is it a sandwich or a burger? The vote is in your hands!” Hinchliffe proclaimed.

Armed with oversized ceremonial scissors, Kass performed the symbolic ribbon-cutting of the newly renamed restaurant.

To participate in this historic decision, fans can vote when ordering the Santa Barbara Char on by purchasing it from either the sandwich or burger category, or by using the hashtags #HabitTeamSandwich or #HabitTeamBurger on social media platforms until October 31. The results will be unveiled at a live event on November 3, where the Santa Barbara Char will remain a burger icon or embrace its sandwich destiny.

Fast Casual, Marketing & Promotions, News, The Habit Burger