Burgers. Said to originally derive from America, this popular beef sandwich has been become somewhat of a trend in the UK for well over a year now with no end in sight. What exactly is keeping this trend so alive? In the name of research, we decided to take a trip to Covent Garden to visit the two new American Burger brands, Five Guys and Shake Shack and find out exactly what makes them so popular.
Originally planned to open on the same day, Five Guys took the initiative to open a day earlier on July 4th. The queue for Five Guys didn’t look too long but we were informed that the wait would be over an hour. Whilst we patiently waited, Paulina walked across to Shake Shack to see how the queue was doing on their opening day. They were in equal demand to Five Guys, but, it being their first day, they had no idea on how long the queues would take. In less than 30 minutes we were inside and ordering. Whilst in the queue, we used the time to ask people what drove them to the latest burger outlet and why they were happy to wait in a queue predicted to be over an hour long. Was there more to it other than a hankering for a good burger?
The Americans were overjoyed to get an authentic taste of home; familiarity and that knowledge of getting exactly what you ordered plays a key role for them, but what about us Brits? You could tell instantly that these people were “foodies”, they’d read on blogs and heard about it from friends anticipating the launch – they wanted to be in the know amongst their peers. Others just fancied trying somewhere new and the novelty of its American diner-like branding attracted them.
So what is keeping this love for burgers alive? According to our Future of Britain study, 51% of people are eating out less as a way of cutting back on costs. However, it seems that burgers are an exception most probably because they’re cheap and the ‘no reservation’ policy gives it that fun, gimmicky feel that is obviously worth spending a few extra £’s on for a meal. Plus, the meal itself screams simplicity and authenticity at its best. Worth waiting over an hour for a burger? Yes! It’s somehow been ingrained into all of us that this is all part of the experience. That or it simply could be we Brits ruddy love a good orderly queue.