Another California-based burger chain has set its sights on Texas. Fatburger is planning to open 25 restaurants in the Lone Star State, primarily focused on Houston, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio.
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."
The chain was founded in 1947 in Los Angeles by Lovie Yancey as a hamburger stand called "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 over 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 been expanding in Texas — are inevitable but misguided. At one-third of a pound, a standard Fatburger is heftier than the 2-ounce basic In-N-Out burger, and has more of a hand-formed, less symmetrical appearance.
In addition, Fatburger's 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 Dallas, Fatburger will enter a crowded burger marketplace, with national chains such as Shake Shack, In-N-Out, and SmashBurger, as well as local/regional favorites such as Hopdoddy and Liberty Burger. 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 said. "We are ready to expand Fatburger to the state where everything is bigger."