Smashburger recently launched its first franchise in Massachusetts in Natick's Sherwood Plaza, and founder Tom Ryan says the location couldn't be more ideal.
"Smashburger was built for burgers lovers all over the country," he told Natick Patch during a media-only luncheon on Dec. 16. "Our design from the beginning was to be a national concept. People in Massachusetts love their burgers as people in other states do … which made (Natick) a great place to open our first Smashburger."
The Natick franchise, which is No. 248 nationwide, is one of 15 Ryan plans to open in Middlesex County.
"This area has a great draw," he said. "This was one of the areas targeted first. We attract a great number of flavor seekers, people who are interested in food in general and like to see everyday things done in a better way, which I think Smashburger qualifies. Our other big segment is what we call basic Americana. It means people just looking for a great burger."
At Smashburger, burgers are cooked the way it sounds. The handcrafted burgers are smashed, seared and seasoned to order, using fresh 100 percent certified Angus beef.
"Our burgers cook really fast," Ryan said. "(The smashing) keeps them juicy as they cook in their own juices. The consequence is it’s a burger you taste in every bite that is very distinctive and very flavorful."
Among the other tasty dishes on the menu are:
- Smashfries — hand-tossed with garlic, rosemary and olive oil;
- Hand-breaded haystack onions;
- Fried pickles;
- Handspun Häagen-Dazs shakes, served in a frosted glass;
- Grilled or crispy chicken sandwiches;
- Split and grilled hot dogs;
- Crisp entrée salads;
- Black bean veggie burgers.
Burgers are affordable at $4.99 for the classic smash and $5.99 for the big smash. Specialty burgers, including the New Englander, which will only be sold in Massachusetts, start at $5.99 for the 4-ounce burger and are $6.99 for the larger version.
Kid's meals are just $5 and available with a classic smash, chicken strips or hot dog. They also come with classic fries and a fountain drink. Parents, you can substitute the sweet potato fries or the veggie frites for the classic fries.
The franchise appeals to almost everyone. They do not fry in peanut oil, they offer a gluten free roll and serve a ranch black bean burger for vegetarian appetites.
Ryan said he knows people have their favorite burger restaurants and respects their opinions, but he also believes one stop at Smashburger will make them flip to his side.
"It is modern and next generational," he said of the franchise. "I’m all for people’s favorite places, but I believe they are a bite away from agreeing with me it’s really a great burger they will come back for."
(Framingham Patch editor Susan Petroni contributed to this report.)