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Industry Update: Restaurants (Burger Special)

By Charles Payne Jr.

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Almost a hundred years ago, during the fall of 1921, a new castle shaped restaurant emerged in a small town in Kansas. The restaurant specialized in 100% beef patties with onions and pickles that measured a mere 2.5 inches. These mini burgers were quickly dubbed as “sliders,” and cooks would soon figure out that by penetrating holes in the patties it would eliminate the need to flip them.  It’s hard to say if whether Walt A. Anderson and Billy Ingram would’ve been able to envision the impact White Castle would have on the modern-day burger business.

Fast forward 96 years, and it seems like there isn’t a street in New York you can stroll down without seeing a restaurant that offers a classic burger. The cheeseburger has transformed from the simplistic beef patty smashed in between two buns, to something of an entirely different beast. Take the Bling Burger, for example, served at Serendipity New York for just under $300, a far cry from White Castle’s original 5 cents. The burger is Wagyu infused with white truffle butter, cave-aged cheddar, black truffles, and caviar held together with a diamond-encrusted gold toothpick.

What makes the burger industry so fascinating is the vast amount of choices and competition amongst them. While the Bling Burger may be a hefty $300, that same amount of money will get you 77 quarter pounders at McDonald’s, and that’s the beauty of it.  A fast food staple, with almost no personality, built for the common man, has morphed into an artistic endeavor attracting customers from both sides of the economic spectrum.

Peer to Peer

Since the conception of White Castle’s answer to fast food, there have been an inconceivable amount of burger joints, with only a handful making it to the market for investors. For this special burger report, we will determine which one(s) will make it to the portfolio. The three restaurants we will be analyzing are Shake Shack (SHAK), Red Robin (RRGB), and Habit Burger Grill (HABT).  

Read our full 7-page report that includes our ratings and targets on Shake Shake (SHAK), Red Robin (RRGB), and Habit Burger Grill (HABT).



Charles PayneJr
Wall Street Strategies

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