Please Don't Compare an Indie Craft Restaurant Burger with a Chain Burger
Reality bites: You get what you pay for.
PLEASE stop comparing independent craft restaurants with chain operations. Yes, the word "burger" is the same, but you are getting two very different products.
Here is a little insight.
BASIC CHAIN BURGERS
You pay: $8-10 Burger
Meat: A GMO soy-corn-antibiotic fed, hormone-infected pattie, cooked in transfat laced "mel fry," "Kaola gold" or other GMO fake fat.
Bread: 2-oz bun, looks bigger because it is over proofed and pumped with diabetes-inducing dough conditioners, and of course, flavored with high-fructose corn syrup and plenty of preservatives.
Sides: Lettuce preserved with that sweet-smelling sodium tripolyphosphate (that's called snow white in the biz, keeps vegetables from oxidizing) and a GMO, irradiated Mexican tomato, often delivered pre-sliced by a chlorine sprayed machine in Mexico. Maybe you get a pickle; it will definitely be colored with yellow #5 and swimming in preservatives.
Fries: Frozen fries that are typically at least 30% white flour, cottonseed oil, BHT and other preservatives cooked in high-performance (aka high in transfat) GMO soy-cotton and mystery oil.
Condiments: Ketchup laced with high-fructose corn syrup, sterilized mayo made with cottonseed oil and high-fructose corn syrups, and tons of preservatives. Any other condiments (like BBQ sauce or flavored mayos) are made in a factories somewhere where the labor is cheapest, and are also laced with high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and chemical preservatives.
Set-Up: Wasteful, eco-unfriendly paper napkin, sometimes a stupid and wasteful paper placemat.
Fairtrade? Cooked by someone in a dead-end job making $9 an hour who is not being inspired, trained or cultured for potential growth in the industry.
Local Value: NOTHING local is involved with getting you that burger, nothing that helps support the local economy, and there is little or no real nutritional value. Most design, construction and services are contracted nationally, not locally. There is little if no local support for the arts, no local fundraising for the not-for-profit community, and often there is not even support for a little league team.
Drink Options: Chemical-laced corporate beer, big box wines and liquors. Few or no local options. Iced tea from powder. At least there's always water, right?
This dismal list goes on and on...
CRAFT & INDIE RESTAURANTS
You pay: $14-$17
Meat: Local/Regional beef from small cooperatives, thoughtfully selected cuts, seasoned with sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Bun: Either handmade (which employs an actual baker!) or a carefully chosen, artisan 4-oz bun.
Sides: Local, in-season lettuce (or artisan hydroponic in winter), local tomato in season, housemade pickle or at least the real-deal. Sides are often made from local farmers' market veggies with no chemicals, colors, or preservatives.
Fries: Real potatoes cooked in clean rice bran oil or other real oil, seasoned with kosher or sea salt.
Condiments: Housemade or organic ketchup, housemade mayo (made with local eggs and olive oil), other craft condiments, all made fresh in house.
Set-Up: cloth napkin. Real china, silver.
Fairtrade?: Cooks in indie craft restaurants get on the foodie trajectory. Working for a chef of repute builds a resume for higher-paying and more dynamic opportunities. Also, working in a craft environment is satisfying creatively, culturally and socially.
Local Value: Many aspects of a craft restaurant support local. Choices are made everyday to risk the bottom line in order to support as many local, regional and artisan like-minded crafts people as possible. Also, construction, design, repair and service people are selected locally. There is immense visible local support for the arts, local fundraising for the not-for-profit community, and yes–even support for a little league teams.
Drink Options: High-quality craft and artisan spirits, wine, beer, coffee, and soda, supporting a local industry that is utilizing more local and artisan components.
This exciting list goes on and on.
Think Farmstand versus Walmart.
You pay for higher quality and higher skill levels.
Please don't compare Ruby Tuesday to guys like us.