Friday, June 7, 2019

[UPDATE] Budding Baby Burger Business BurgerIM Bound For Toco Hills

An additional Atlanta area location of BurgerIM is planned for Toco Hills.  The new restaurant will occupy suite 512, a roughly 2,000 square foot space between Bishops Cuts/Color and and Sylvan Learning.  The BurgerIM space is yet another portion of the former Shoe Center that was also for many years a Big "B" Drugs. 
The new Toco Hills BurgerIM will be the fourth in metro Atlanta and eighth in Georgia for the budding global franchise with US headquarters in Encino, California. 

There are currently Atlanta area franchises open in Alpharetta, Dunwoody and Midtown.  Elsewhere in the state there are BurgerIMs in Stockbridge, Athens and Bonaire, with another coming to Columbus. 

The premise at BurgerIM, which is essentially a made up Hebrew word meaning "many burgers," is that customers can try different slider style burgers in a variety of protein offerings like lamb, beef, turkey or chicken. 

U.S. trained chef and Israeli native Donna Tuchner opened the first BurgerIM in Tel Aviv in 2008. In 2011, Oren Loni, a serial franchisor, purchased the franchise rights from Tuchner and started selling BurgerIM franchises in Israel. In 2014, he sold the Israeli franchise rights and about 50 open units, and in June 2015 moved his family to Los Angeles to start developing BurgerIM in America.

In April, 2018, Loni hired longtime restaurant executive (Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Marriott Hotels) Tom Meiron as CEO.  Together the duo have signed up hundreds of franchisees - many of whom have yet to actually open their restaurants.  

Loni penned an odd third person article "Oren Loni: Meet the Owner of Burgerim." In it he (as if he is being interviewed) describes the franchise support:  "Oren Loni went on to discuss the simplicity of the concept and how the franchisees are supported at all stages of the business including obtaining loans, finding prime locations, renovations, suppliers, training and after the restaurant is opened. We do everything we can to help our store owners manage their businesses effectively and efficiently. We want them to recoup their investments quickly and to benefit from their successful restaurants.”

Franchise Times did a rather extensive article this past fall on BurgerIM and their meteoric growth.  "Burgerim unit sales outstrip its openings" takes a deep dive into the chain's early years and their ambitious franchising efforts.  

One key component of the growth is incredibly reasonable franchise fees as compared to other quick-serve concepts.  

According to the International Franchise Association, the cost to start a Burgerim franchise ranges from $30,000 to $50,000, with a total investment between $150,000 to $250,000.

In comparison, you'd need at least $1.2 million to get started with McDonald's, according to the Chicago-based burger behemoth's website.  

The low barriers to entry are great for aspiring entrepreneurs but also seem to attract many inexperienced franchisees.  [A pair of locations in Fort Myers and Estero, Florida closed this past March: the Fort Myers restaurant closure came less than three months after its debut.] 

We visited the Midtown Atlanta location last month and had a terrible experience: our food was twice made wrong, had little flavor, and the best part of the meal was probably the fries.  
A trio of burgers and sweet potato fries from the Midtown BurgerIM
It's unclear who the franchisee of the Toco Hills location is or if, like select other BurgerIMs they will offer Halal or Kosher meats, given the nearby Jewish community, but hopefully they do something to make it successful.  [The 70s era Wendy's in an outparcel of Toco Hills is due to be demolished and rebuilt this year, and when completed, will sport the brand's latest, modern look.]

BurgerIM is the latest in a string of upcoming or recently opened restaurants at the popular intown center.  

Earlier this week ToNeTo Atlanta was first to report that food truck turned restaurant Yumbii plans to open later this fall at Toco Hills.  The Asian + Mexican eatery will occupy the former Radio Shack space adjacent to Chris' Pizza.  Flying Biscuit Cafe is also opening in Toco Hills and will occupy a portion of the former Petite Auberge space.  ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on the breakfast eatery's planned opening last October, but given the status of the interior build-out, it may be still another couple of months before it opens. 

Other recent openings in Toco Hills include Chopt, a gourmet salad eatery, Pao Pao Ramen and Rolled Ice Cream, Kale Me Crazy, a juice and smoothie joint.  

Have you been to a BurgerIM?  Are you excited to have a BurgerIM opening at Toco Hills?  What is your favorite burger joint in metro Atlanta?

Please share your thoughts below  


Anonymous said...

When will the Toco location open?

Anonymous said...

Meh. Tried the one in Midtown due to a coupon offer and was completely underwhelmed. Tasted like McDonalds -- various patties with the same toppings. The lamb tasted suspiciously like beef. I'll give them less than a year.

Greenwave said...

I don't mind another burger spot. Only good one in the area is Grindhouse and that's at Morningside. I have yet to try the Dunwoody location of this place.

greenie said...

And before Big B Drugs (and you), it was Benjamin Franklin's 5 and Dime

Anonymous said...

I enjoy the food but the service time for the food is ridiculous. Hope they get it together.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty bad, on the same level as something like Burger Fi. I don't think it'll last.

J said...

Are all locations the same like mcdonalds/standard fast food restaurants?

Unknown said...

Another questionable boutique quick serve in the center. Eden's seems to really like getting deals done with up and coming franchises that they think will do deals in their other centers. I will be surprised if this place makes it. A Shake Shack would be a much more exciting fit.

john said...

The one in athens is terrible. Constantly out of many menu items and sometimes closed during the week.

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