Fabian Rosario and his business partner John Harris are no strangers to the restaurant business. Rosariohas ties to one of the top-selling IHOP restaurants in its system and Harris owns a full-service restaurant, both located in Brooklyn, New York. But now the two are entering a new sector of the restaurant business and have signed an agreement to open three Elevation Burger restaurants throughout New York City. Their first location will open this December at 103 W. 14th St.Overall, Elevation Burger, known for its organic, grass-fed burgers and recognized as one of the most innovative burger chains in the country, plans to open 20 locations in the New York Citymetropolitan area in the coming years.
“New Yorkers are always looking to eat healthier, but it’s easier said than done,” Rosariosays. “Elevation Burger offers an organic, better-for-you burger at a reasonable price.”
As a Verizon technician for 14 years, Rosariowas born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and has an electrical engineering degree from the New York Institute of Technology. He and Harris met while working for Verizon, and the two also have plans to open an IHOP in upstate New Yorkin the first quarter of 2011.
Hans Hess, Elevation Burger’s founder and CEO, sees great potential for the burger concept in the New Yorkmarket.
“We’d love to add at least two dozen restaurants throughout New York—including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens—over the next few years, and we’re currently looking for interested owners,” he says. “Unlike other fast-casual chains, Elevation Burger offers unique menu items with the slogan ‘Ingredients Matter.’”
AOLSmall Businesscalled Elevation Burger the Next Big Chain, and the Food Channel dubbed it one of the up-and-comers in the emerging better burger category. Elevation Burger serves only 100 percent USDA-certified organic, 100 percent grass-fed, 100 percent free-range beef burgers freshly ground on premises and fresh-cut fries cooked in heart-healthy 100 percent olive oil. To complete the meal and satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth they offer fresh baked cookies and critically acclaimed hand-scooped milk shakes.
Elevation Burger’s restaurants are also environmentally friendly, utilizing renewable, non-polluting materials and surfaces, including bamboo flooring, compressed sorghum tabletops, and low - or no-VOC paints and sealants.
The idea for Elevation Burger was conceived by Hans Hess in 2002. The first Elevation Burger opened in northern Virginiain September 2005 and quickly gained national acclaim. Driven by their passion to bring organic, sustainable and fresh food to a national audience, Hans and his wife, April, created Elevation Franchise Ventures, LLC, which began franchising Elevation Burger restaurants in 2008.
The innovative concept is rapidly expanding. The 10-unit-chain has franchise commitments to open over 60 locations in existing markets as well as Dallas, metropolitan New York, and metropolitan Washington, D.C. Projections call for a total of 15 to 20 restaurants operating by the end of 2011 with the goal of 100 nationwide within the next few years.