Pubs that don’t serve gourmet buns with burgers are falling behind

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Important ingredient: on average, 69% of a burger is made up of the bun
Important ingredient: on average, 69% of a burger is made up of the bun
Trading up a burger offer to gourmet buns is the key way pubs can maximise sales in this category, according to research.

Bakery product supplier Lantmännen Unibake’s Americana brand released insights from a new burger study where more than 100 burgers were measured from a range of different outlets, including fast food, premiumised, and high-end gourmet burgers.

Several measurements of each burger were taken (to the nearest mm) to establish the average burger’s filling to bun ration. It revealed that on average, a huge 69% of the burger is made up of the bun.

Americana is calling on outlets to ensure their buns are up to consumer and industry standards, and maximise on sales, by trading up to gourmet.

According to MCA Pub & Restaurant Decision Maker Gourmet Burger Research ​from January 2018, 83% of pubs and restaurateurs and 84% of consumers agree that a high-quality bun is a key characteristic of a gourmet burger.

Paying more

It also found consumers, on average, were willing to pay up to £1.25 more for their burger to come in a gourmet bun, making this a profitable opportunity.

Burger expert and blogger Simon Dukes, who was involved in the burger study, said: “The bun is the first thing you notice when you go to eat your burger and it says a lot about the type of burger you are eating.

“The majority of the cheaper, fast food options we saw had a flatter, smaller, sesame seed bun. Not very exciting, but it does the job at the lower end of the burger scale.

“For the more premium options we measured, brioche was a popular choice. Despite the vast difference in the burgers and the price points charged, the percentage of the burger to bun ration was relatively even, from fast food to gourmet.”

Americana assistant brand manager Samantha Winsor outlined why offering a gourmet burger can boost a pub’s bottom line.

Premiumisation

She said: “Consumer expectations towards premiumisation have shifted over the past three years, with more quality options being expected wherever customers are eating or drinking out.

“The craft beer movement is a prime example of this and these expectations are mirrored within the burger market.

“Some 71% of pubs and restaurants are already serving gourmet buns, so operators who aren’t doing this are falling behind, on what our research shows, is now expected of a quality burger offer.”

“Trading up from a standard seeded bun costs little, but can have a huge impact on how your burger offer is received and what consumers would be willing to pay for it.

“With 69% of a burger being bun and customers on average willing to pay up to £1.25 more, can outlets really afford to miss out?!”

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