How far ahead of the pack is Burgerville? The 39-store operation has been locally sourcing select foods for years, especially for seasonal milk shakes, but now it has stepped up both its local connections and its seasonal LTO menu. In February, it put a Yukon & White Bean Basil Burger on the menu, the first of a new line of monthly special, upscale foods. Last month’s offering was a Rosemary Chicken sandwich and Rosemary Shoestring Potatoes.
This week, Burgerville added two limited-time menu offerings based on a good-for-you food not often seen at QSRs outside salads: spinach. While McDonald’s, Burger King, Sonic and Jack in the Box are juggling variations on the standard eggs-cheese-bacon breakfast paradigm (using biscuits, tortillas or toast as carriers), Burgerville now is changing the morning game.
The Spinach Florentine Breakfast Pastry combines cage-free eggs, turkey sausage and a creamy sauce in flaky baked pastry. Stahlbush Island Farms in Corvallis, Ore., supplies organic spinach, while Spring Hill Farms in Albany, Ore., produces the baby spinach used in the other April LTO, a Spring Spinach and Chicken Salad. Oregon-sourced blue cheese and cranberries also are in the salad.
Burgerville says that Oregon R&D chef Grace Pae is working with its Chef’s Council (on which chain President-CEO Jeff Harvey and several culinary-trained unit general managers also sit) on these and future menu items. For May, the focus will be on asparagus (even more foreign to QSR burger chains than spinach), while Oregon strawberries will be feted in June.
Additionally, we reported in February that Burgerville was exploring the possibility of serving beer and wine in select units. Beginning this month, its Salmon Creek, Wash., location has been cleared to do just that. Burgerville could look to extend the test if it is successful.