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BurgerIM rapidly expands across South Florida. Should you rush in?

BurgeImIM in a West Delray;s Shops at San Marco shopping center

This Israeli-founded, California-based, fast-casual hamburger and chicken chain offers a terrific lamb burger, but the rest of the menu – 11 varieties of patties are offered – is less impressive.  Is trouble ahead for this fast-growing chain?

Seeing.BurgerM restaurants popping up all over South Florida — and elsewhere — aroused my curiosity.  When an outlet opened just a short distanced from me in Delray Beach, I had to give it a shot.

Having done so, I started a bit of research which leads me to suggest that if.you’re aching to try BurgerIM better get to one soon.

The reason: the chain’s franchised restaurants may be heading for a rough patch. Published reports say the California-based chain, founded in Israel, could be headed for bankruptcy.

BurgerIM, whose name in Hebrew means “many burgers,” opened its first restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2011, under Donna Tuchner, a U.S.-trained chef who founded the company. Since then, the company has expanded to more than 200 locations in just the U.S. under current owner and president, Oren Loni. According to reports some 100 locations already have closed and Loni according to reports may have fled Southern California to Israel.

Restaurant Business, a trade publication, reported that BurgerIM appears to have been run incompetently, signing franchise agreements with people with zero industry experience, and that it failed to collect payments from franchisees, which were supposed to be one of its major sources of income.  It recently told franchisees in an email obtained by Restaurant Business that it plans to “restructure and reorganize to be able to move forward on a solid financial base.”

Be that as it may, BurgerIM has become best known for its mini burgers, slightly larger than sliders. It boasts 11 different patties, including upscale Wagyu beef, Angus, Spanish beef, salmon, veggie, vegan, beef/lamb blend, falafel, and more along with a multitude of gourmet toppings such as sautéed mushrooms, pineapple, avocado and sunny-side up eggs, numerous house made sauces, and different bun options, including sesame, lettuce wrap for health conscious consumers, and even a non-GMO option.

BurgerIM also serves milkshakes, circular-cut fries, onion rings, chicken strips and wings, salads, and dessert options, all served fast-casual style in a sort of upscale atmosphere. Its stores, almost all tucked into strip centers, sport a modern industrial feel with lots of white, orange and black, a big stainless duct and big screen TVs hanging from the walls.

Inside the West Delray Beach BurgerIM

The BurgerIM in West Delray Beach can be found in the Shops of San Marco — the Publix shopping center at Jog and Lake Ida Roads — occupying a storefront that once housed a Subway sandwich shop. It was not terribly busy during my visits, with just a few employees working the counter and the grill in the rear.

To be sure, this is not fast food.  Your food isn’t cooked until you place your order.  If you’re dining in, a server will deliver it to your table. Figure on a 10-minute wait.

You start by selecting the type of protein you want and its size.  Then, you can personalize your burger with any of the numerous toppings.

If you opt for the traditional BurgerIM 3-ounce patties, you have the option of purchasing two, three or more burgers, and customizing each one. That’s a help for family orders and parties.

Spanish Burger and Sweet Potato Fries

Aged beef burger, onion rings

Lamb burger, French fries

Aside from the flavorful, moist, meaty lamb burger, which at this particular outlet is only available in the large size, there isn’t much to love. The burgers, which resemble hockey pucks in both looks and texture, aren’t memorable. The Spanish Burger, which is blended with onions and topped with jalapenos and pepper jack cheese, has only a bit of a zip. The aged-beef burger is dry (aged beef has less moisture than fresh beef), but nonetheless displays some beefy flavor.

The large-size burgers start at about $6.99 each and a duo of burgers runs $6.99 or $9.99 for a trio. It’s another $3 to add fries and a drink. Premium sides, like sweet potato fries, cost more. For another 79 cents, you can glam up those fries and onion rings with options like garlic aioli.  The additions will inflate your tab quickly.

The regular French fries are discs, more akin to thick-cut potato chips.  Sweet potato fries were feather light, thin and crisp. Onion rings, meanwhile, were sweet, but fried to a crunchy brittleness.

The kitchen messed up a chicken order, applying the wrong sauces to orders of wings and breaded chicken tenders. Not a huge problem, though I would’ve preferred the tangy sauces on the side to keep the chicken pieces crispy. Both were forgettable.

Soft drinks as well as handful of tap beers are available to wash it all down.

Given the mostly unimpressive offerings and all the competition in the region, maybe there’s no reason to rush to BurgerIM.

BurgerIM West Delray Beach

13900 Jog Road, Delray Beach, FL 33446  

(561) 562-8692

Burgerim.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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