Industry News | June 9, 2011

Burger House Hot Off the Grill in Texas

image used with permission.

The Burger House, a Dallas hamburger and fries institution since 1951, sold its first Lubbock, Texas-made hamburger early the morning of June 6 and by the close of day, saw those numbers in the hundreds.

Thanks to Texas Tech grad Blake Terry, Tech class of 2008, and president of Terry Ventures, Inc., June 6 was B-Day in the Lubbock area when the doors opened on the city’s first Burger House at 2405 19th Street. Terry, who left Dallas to come back to Lubbock, deliberately found a location near the college campus from which the honor student graduated two years ago.

The Lubbock Burger House is the eighth location for the expanding franchise, but the first in west Texas.

The original Burger House opened in 1951 as neighborhood hangout near Southern Methodist University selling burgers, fries, and individually-made malts and shakes. One of the things that quickly caught the attention of diners and made the three-employee operation an instant hit was owner Jack Koustobardis’ “secret salt.” This special seasoning, refined by Koustobardis over the years, became so popular that it’s now packaged and sold in all Burger House locations and on the Internet.

Koustobardis continued running the popular dining spot for 31 years, finally selling it to the present owners, Angelo S. Chantilis and Steve G. Canellos, in 1982. The original burgers, fries, shakes, and malts are still on the menu and prepared the same way. Chicken sandwiches and a children’s menu have been added. The two men’s sons, Christopher Canellos and Angelo Chantilis, Jr. (Sonny) have joined the venture as well.

Accolades have been many, including numerous local and state awards. The most recent recognition came in 2009 in a top-selling book called Hamburger America by George Motz, in which Motz named Burger House the top hamburger place in Texas.

C. Keith Hudson, president of the Houston-based Charter Franchise Services, which created and sells franchises for the 59-year-old establishment, runs one of a very few full-service franchising companies in the South and Midwest. Among its current clients are La Paletera, with nearly three dozen locations open or under development in Texas and Louisiana; the famed San Antonio Italian restaurant concept, Luciano’s; Buzzy’s BBQ in Kerrville; Digg’s Taco’s in Dallas; and Danny’s Restaurant in the Valley.          

Hudson is one of a select group of national business men and women to achieve the title of Certified Franchise Executive through the prestigious Institute of Certified Franchise Executives. He currently serves on the IFA’s Franchise Political Action Committee and on its Membership Committee.

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