Like many fast food and fast casual restaurants these days, we’ve eliminated char-grilling. Flat-top grilling is just more versatile and the product is cooked more consistently.
That said, Fatburger does offer a secret menu item dubbed “The Char,” that substitutes flame-grilling and results in a smokier taste with less fat. Some people really do prefer flame-grilling and if you’re one of them, keep this option in mind during your next visit.
This month, QSR Magazine takes a look at flame-grilling in the fast food/fast casual market. Our own James Newell, VP of Ops has a few things to say:
Another restaurant company that is eliminating char grilling at its newer restaurants is Fatburger, the Santa Monica, California–based burger chain with 115 locations. Historically, the stores offered burgers cooked on the flattop or char grill. Today, most of the burgers are made on the flattop, while charred burgers are a secret menu item.
“We call it The Char,” says James Newell, vice president of operations, of the flame-grilled version. “It’s a much different burger. It can be a little dryer, but if you cook it right, you get a good sear at the higher heat, and the fat drops off and out of the way.”
Still, the window for error is small and is a reason char grills aren’t in new units. Additionally, the grill is a “gas hog, and we have to be respectful of the environment and the cost for franchisees,” Newell says.
Still, many restaurants are willing to put up with that due to the taste grilling provides.
Check out the full article over at QSR if you’re curious about flat-top versus flame-grilling.