Industry News | January 17, 2013

Smashburger Plays with Design Before 200th Unit Debuts

On the eve of celebrating the opening of its 200th restaurant, Smashburger unveils a new restaurant design targeted at the next generation of burger enthusiasts.

With interior details that convey a more modern and comfortable atmosphere, Smashburger continues to demonstrate why it is the leader in the “better burger segment” of the restaurant industry.  

“We are not your typical burger chain,” says David Prokupek, chairman and CEO of Smashburger. “We started this concept about five years ago with the intention of changing the way people thought about burgers. We wanted to offer food and an atmosphere that was modern, exciting, and much different from the quick-service burger restaurants that consumers now find tiring.”

The new design features earthy materials mixed in with contemporary graphic designs. Some of the guiding principles leading the new design include making it simple, natural, and comfortable, but modern and relevant for all occasions. 

“It’s important that we strike the right tone in our design that makes us a place where young families with small kids can come and feel comfortable, yet also a place where couples can go on a date before heading to the movies and enjoy a craft beer and a burger pairing,” says Tom Ryan, founder of Smashburger. “We have our pulse on how people want to dine. They are looking for a modern, contemporary dining experience. Our décor was designed with this in mind.”

Some of the enhancements to the interior design include softer lighting, high-tech digital menuboards, exposed wood-plank ceiling rafters, stainless steel table trims, localized graphics and art, and a variety of new elements to improve the overall experience for the guests. 

The Smashburger brand comes alive with storytelling in the graphics, from the etched glass that details the attributes of the burgers—fresh, juicy, delicious, and smashed to order—to the mosaic of photography, which spotlights local landmarks.  

In Colorado, those include the Denver Skyline, the Rocky Mountains, Coors Field, and an image of a skier, all depicting different components of the Colorado lifestyle.  

Highlighting each local market is consistent with the approach Smashburger carries through on its menu with localized recipes created to reflect the local taste profiles.  

"It was important that the interior of our restaurants reflect the quality and variety of our great-tasting burgers,” Ryan says. “Now there is great energy around both our food and our store's design.”

The timing of introducing this new store design comes on the eve of Smashburger’s 200th restaurant opening.

“We’ve reached an important milestone as a brand,” Prokupek says. “As we look to the future to be just as successful as the last five years, it is critical that we continue differentiating ourselves a with a restaurant design that sets us apart in the same way that our food does. 

“The enhanced look and feel of our restaurants now allows us to compete more directly with casual-dining options,” he adds. “It opens Smashburger up to a wider audience of consumers, particularly in the dinner segment.”

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