Fat and Happy
California-based burger chain grills up fat Austin expansion plans
Another California-based burger chain has set its sights on Texas. Fatburger announced plans to open 25 restaurants in the Lone Star State, primarily focused on Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston.
The expansion springs from a new partnership between Fatburger parent company FAT Brands Inc. (as in "Fresh, Authentic, and Tasty") and Dallas-based company Croft Ventures, LLC; the companies did not specify when and where these new burger joints will open.
“The great state of Texas has spoken, and we are answering by developing 25 new Fatburger locations for the market,” said FAT Brands CEO Andy Wiederhorn in a statement. “We are thrilled to offer our delicious, homemade burgers to Texans for many years to come.”
Started in 1947 by Lovie Yancey as "Mr. Fatburger," Yancey dropped the "Mr." from the name in 1952, when she split with her business partner, and "Fatburger" was born. Since the '90s, the company has grown to more than 200 locations worldwide. FAT Brands also owns concepts such as Elevation Burger, the Ponderosa steakhouse, and Buffalo's Cafe.
From a Texan's perspective, comparisons with In-N-Out — the other California-based burger chain that's expanding in Texas — are inevitable but misguided. At one-third of a pound, a standard Fatburger is heftier than its California cousin, with the half-pound Kingburger being roughly equivalent to four In-N-Out patties. In addition, Fatburgers come with more toppings; the standard mix consists of mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, relish, and mustard; diners may also add bacon, cheese, chili, onion rings, or a fried egg.
Non-beef eaters may opt for a turkey burger, a veggie patty, or a vegan Impossible Burger. The menu also includes chicken wings that come in 13 flavors, milkshakes, and fries (both potato and sweet potato).
In Austin, Fatburger will enter a crowded burger marketplace. Not only will it be arriving after California competitor In-N-Out, it will also compete with national chains, such as Shake Shack, as well as locally owned options including P. Terry's and Hopdoddy Burger Bar. Nevertheless, the company is confident it can make a splash.
"Texas is one of the fastest-growing states in the country, and we can’t wait to turn Fatburger into its new staple burger joint," Croft Ventures CEO Curtis Croft added. "We are ready to expand Fatburger to the state where everything is bigger."