, UK
Ben Keegans, executive head chef at Frankie & Benny's. /Photo provided.

Frankie & Benny’s 25-year old menu item is ready for a refresh

The brand has reengineered one of its top five most-ordered menu items.

Customer expectations will continue to test the boundaries of restaurants and their menu and that’s why Frankie & Benny’s decided that it was the right time to change its 25-year-old burger recipe.

This was a challenge for Frankie & Benny’s because its burger was always in the top five ordered dishes on its menu, with the burger held in high regard. Its taste and recipe have been iconic and changing it would require careful planning.

That’s why it took six months of planning, development, testing, and improvement before Frankie & Benny’s announced the release of what they call the Best Burger Ever.

In a quick interview, Frankie & Benny’s executive head chef, Ben Keegans, explained that the idea of the Best Burger Ever came to them because they wanted to be top of mind when consumers think of the best burger experience.

“A burger is easy to benchmark versus competitors, so we knew we needed to make ours stand out. Our main focus was the texture and meat of the burger. We wanted it to be a melt-in-the-mouth and crumbly burger patty; we wanted something that could be iconic to the brand, craveable – something guests would remember and want to keep coming back for more of,” Ben said.

He said his idea of the perfect burger was all about getting the texture right. This was also the most challenging to perfect.

“It was hard getting the texture right for the patty. The cuts of meat that went into the burger are also key. We also had to balance the taste of the beef and get the right fat levels. The process of perfecting the texture of the bun was also challenging as we needed to balance fluffiness as well so that when you bite into it, it’s really soft. We also made the size of the bun smaller so the ratio of bun and burger was right for the perfect bite,” Ben said.

The new burger will have a new soft fluffy bun, created based on a Japanese bread recipe that uses free-range eggs with a dark glazed top, sprinkled with crunchy linseeds. The beef burger is made from 100% Red Tractor-certified British beef, which means animal welfare is a priority. This is a priority for Frankie & Benny’s because a sustainable supply chain for the menu is part of their consideration in menu decision-making.

The burger is finished with a simple iceberg lettuce and mayonnaise, to enunciate the taste of the burger itself.

Ben said they went with a simple iceberg lettuce and mayonnaise because they wanted the burger itself to be the star of the show and not complicate the taste with too many sauces or relishes.

“Restaurants need to test the boundaries of their menu because of customer expectations. Customers nowadays demand better quality and ethically sourced choices on the menu. We needed to have a point of difference from our competitors and at the same time entice customers to visit us without busting the bank,” Ben said.

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