Saturday, September 20, 2008

Burger Nuts

30699 Euclid Ave,
Wickliffe, OH 44092
(440) 585-1111‎

by Beau Cadiyo

I’m all for gimmicks as part of the sales process provided that the underlying object being sold is good. If it’s not good, a purchase-inducing gimmick is like a peacock’s feathers – puffery designed to deceive. Burger Nuts is just that – instead of being gimmicky to get people in, and then producing quality products to maintain customers, they try to sell the gimmick without anything supporting it.

When we got there on Friday at 6:15 p.m., it was packed with people. The crowd was family-friendly; overweight youngsters ate with overweight parents and overweight grandparents. Save for the two guys in front of us still in sweaty exercise clothes, we may have been the only regular gym-goers in the place.

The first thing that made me suspicious were the piles of potatoes I leaned against while waiting in line. I’m all for putting raw restaurant materials in sight of the customer. It allows the customer to see what they’re getting, and done subtly and well – like at Jimmy John’s – it becomes a part of a beautiful presentation. However, Burger Nuts’ approach was haphazard, obvious and sloppy. Burger Nuts: CLEAN UP.

Second, the menu, while fun, was complicated. Because of the number of choices and the number of toppings, figuring out the order I wanted crossed my eyes. Contrast this with In-N-Out, the famous and absolutely amazing Southern California chain which has about three hamburger options on its menu (but numerous more off-menu). I realize that the gimmick was to give the customer the ability to make their own special burger, but the sheer number of choices made it onerous. Burger Nuts: Simplify.

The nuts are similarly poorly run. When I asked about them, the waitress pointed to the only trash can in the entire restaurant. Perched on top was a large cardboard box containing peanuts. I looked for something to put them in; there were a few tiny metal buckets scattered about on the tables, but they were all full of peanut shells, and using them felt like using someone else’s dirty plate. Burger Nuts: figure out a system.

Fourth, the burgers are never frozen and are supposed to be fully customizable. As soon as I unwrapped burger I was disappointed. The onions and sauce had soaked through the bun, rendering it near-mush. The burger patties, while perhaps never frozen, were not, therefore, good; the beef was almost tasteless, even if it did have a pretty good texture and consistency. Frank Khan was similarly unimpressed with his. Burger Nuts: don’t think that the gimmicks will allow you to get away with a substandard product.

Finally, the potatoes I leaned against (and possibly contaminated) were also supposed to be used for the fresh-cut fries, and the newspaper article I’d read about Burger Nuts gushed about the huge portions. Pshaw. My regular fries would be the equivalent of a McDonald’s small, except that McDonald’s are well-cooked and crispy. Burger Nuts followed the recent trend of producing soggy, limp, tasteless fries. When I got up to get ketchup, the large dispensers were out; regular ketchup bottles had to be shaken to get the remaining ketchup out. I glanced over and saw, piled precariously high, boxes of cooking oil, some leaking out. Looking back into the kitchen there was a large, cavernous space; it couldn’t have been that they were out of storage room. Burger Nuts: make better fries, portion them well, and figure out a system for condiments.

By the time we were finished the restaurant had almost emptied out. Looking at the owner, who I recognized from the article, I felt a mixture of excitement and sadness. It is exciting that he is pursuing his dream for operating a restaurant; it’s sad that his dream couldn’t be better.

Burger Nuts on Urbanspoon


bigeater said...

Unfortunately this "gentleman" does not know what he is talking about. I (a frequent gym goer, and not overweight) happen to dine there at least once a week when I need my burger fix. I find the menu to be simple not at all difficult. I guess for some people McDonals is easier they put what they put on your burger and you get no choices. However, I like the fact that they have 18 (yes 18) toppings to choose from and the price stays the same no matter what I get. The food great, the bun not at all soggy, and the fries you have got to be kidding me, the portion is huge (small hardly) Maybe Beau should stick with what he knows best, burgers is not that. Burger Nuts is great, the concept is great and the staff friendly, ...I think Maybe Beau is just mad all he is, is a "writer" ( and I ues that term loosely),and not a business owner. Jealous maybe?

Taz1954 said...

I sincerely hope I am not the only one that read this and immediately thought what a moron this guy is. I mean wow really “overweight youngsters” with “overweight parents and grandparents?” Ummmm Is there a certain amount of irony there coming from a SANDWICH board blogger? Not to mention the fact of basically picking on kids and the general public? Have you no life? You sad sad little man. And as for the menu being “complicated” and “onerous”… Wow I have ordered from it is simple easy to read and understand and oh yea it is in ENGLISH so I can’t figure out for the life of me why you had problems with it. Maybe we can suggest to the owner a picture menu with little drag drop slides so you can order much easier. And also with you getting there at around 6:15 on a Friday might have a little to do with the empty condiments. Like you pointed out the place was OVERCROWDED. AKA BUSY!! And FYI they don’t have waitress it’s a BURGER JOINT. The staff member, employee whatever did her job in directing you to your needs. And as far as your burgers and fries condition, let’s be fair here. How long did it set while you did you little survey of the restaurant? Anyone knows the longer a burger sets I don’t care who you get it from the bun turns to mush. While the fries get colder. And let’s face it the potatoes you leaned on and “possible contaminated” are still packaged just like at EVERY grocery store in the world. So unless you had dirt and grime oozing off you I am certain they were just fine. Wow oil leaking out? That is nothing but a simple lie. I have been in there a few times and have never seen that. Bottom line the food is great; the fry serving sizes are huge. The place was packed while you were there proving that just because one sad little man that was having a bad week day life whatever and decided to write a bogus review means NOTHING. They know great food, service, portions and price when they see it. If you had any doubt you can also re-read that newspaper review and the comments that were left. In closing Beau Cadiyo PSHAW to you and your horrible review I only feel one day you will realize why you write these crappy reviews is simply because you are a faceless 40 hour a week cog in the wheel. While people like the owner of Burger Nuts follows his dream and provides for his family and the community doing it! I leave you with a question what do you provide people thank you for?

AS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rich said...

I think that the person (Beau Cadiyo) needs help. I think this person went into this place and looked for everything negative as possible to say. I've eaten their twice and I can say that you cannot fall over the raw potatoes and the menu was very easy to understand (unless you want to make a place look bad)The place is almost a carbon copy of 5 guys burgers,signs, colors used potatoes out in customer area peanuts while you wait.

cweaklan said...

Went there for lunch on Monday - my first & last time. Walked in an immediately noticed that it is a copycat restaurant of another very popular burger place. Same decor, same peanuts, but burgers and fries not even close to being the same. Soon, you will be able to judge for yourselves.

So here's what happend when I went there on Monday afternoon:
I walked in thinking that I saw a "lunch special" somewhere, but when I got to the ordering counter I didn't see any "combo" deals on the menu. I asked the order taker guy/mgr/owner(?) if there were any "combo" meals aviailable. He said "no - everything is ala carte". So, I hesitently ordered a burg, fries and drink as did my coworker. The grand total was 18 dollars and change (expensive). We finished our soggy burgers and fries and as we departed, I noticed on the sidewalk a large folding sign that had been put out that very day that read, "Combo Special - burger, fries & drink for $5.55 - Mondays & Tuesdays Only".
So, not only was I unimpressed with this copycat restaurant and the rather rude behavior of the "guy" taking orders, but I had just been lied to and ended up paying over $18 for a 2 meals that should have cost $11.10.
I will never go back to this place. Oh yeah, for a noon lunch hour in that area, there were only a few people dining there which I found very interesting and a bit frightning that such few people were patronizing a restaurant in that busy area during the peak lunch hour.
All I know is I'm glad that the other place is opening up soon - and it's much closer to where I work too!
Shame on you, Burger Nuts.

Anonymous said...

As another poster said, it is a direct copy of Five Guys, but the quality just isn't there.