FORT APACHE, NEVADA
MENU/SEGMENT: Burger/quick casual
HEADQUARTERS: Santa Monica, Calif.
FACILITY SIZE: 1,800-2,500 sq. ft.
NUMBER OF SEATS: 40-90
TRANSACTIONS/DAY: approx. 250
CHECK AVERAGE: $10
EQUIPMENT PACKAGE: $155,000-$185,000
NUMBER OF STORES: 88
EXPANSION PLANS: 25 expected to open in 2007
AccuTemp steam griddle
Roundup vertical contact toaster
Frymaster high-efficiency fryer
Captive-Aire canopy hood
McCall reach-in freezer/refrigerator
Vita-Mix On-Counter blending station
Hussmann ice cream cabinet
A.J. Antunes water filtration system
Mars air curtain
GRIDDLING WITH STEAM
Since 2003, Fatburger has grilled its signature burgers on AccuTemp steam griddles. The griddle maintains surface temperatures with ±3°F of the set temperature and boasts recovery times of about 10 secs. The evenly heated surface means no wasted griddle surface, higher production capacity per foot of griddle and more consistent product, says AccuTemp. You can set the temperature for 200°F to 400°Fthe heat comes from steam generated by boiling water in a hermetically sealed vacuum chamber directly under the griddle surface. The sealed steam system never needs cleaning or maintenance, says AccuTemp. GG Series Gas Griddles come in 24"-, 36"- and 48"-wide tabletop or stand-mounted models.
LIKE, VERTICAL TOAST, DUDE
Fatburger employees can quickly bring hamburger buns to toasted, golden-brown perfection using Roundup's Vertical Contact Toaster. The VCT-2000 lets you place buns on both sides of the heated platen at the same time, making the unit twice as fast as traditional single-sided toasters. Like the name says, action is vertical: Buns go in at the top, and out at the base, warm and toasty, with a standard pass-through time of 7 mins. to 12 mins. An electronic solid-state temperature controller maintains ideal heat.
FASTER, FITTER, FINER FRYING
When the lunch crush hits and you need multiple orders of onion rings, "fat" fries and "skinny" fries, you can't be waiting around for oil temperatures to recover so you can throw in the next batch. Fatburger sidesteps that problem by using a pair of high-efficiency Frymaster H55 fryers. The units feature extra-efficient burners that operate consistently and save energy. The H55's fully accessible open-pot design is easy to clean. Meanwhile, the frypot's titanium-stainless steel alloy construction makes it extra durable, and replacement parts, when needed, are readily available. An optional FootPrint Pro Filtration system matches the H55.
CLEAN AIR ACT
The steam griddle and fryers heat things up, but Fatburger keeps the airborne grease to a minimum with a Captive-Aire canopy hood. The ND-PSP-F hood comes as a wall-type configuration or a two-piece back-to-back island configuration. The unit's double-wall, insulated front increases rigidity and reduces condensation. A grease drain system has a removable pint cup for easy cleaning. And speaking of cleaning, the ND's UL-classified aluminum filters are also removable for cleaning, although you can choose optional stainless steel and ETL-listed high-velocity cartridge filters if you prefer. The hood is listed for use with appliances that generate heat of 450°F to 700°F.
REACH FOR THE PATTIES
The tall reach-in freezer/refrigerator next to the fryers holds Fatburger's refrigerated and frozen ingredients for handy access. The DT2 features a top-mounted compressor that McCall says adds more storage space, stays cleaner and puts the evaporator within easy reach when service is needed. Inside, the Windrunner system gently circulates chilled air evenly and efficiently throughout the cavity. An exterior digital thermometer lets you check temperatures without losing chill. The doors come with sturdy, self-closing cam-lift hinges with a safety stop that holds the door open with no overswing. Three shelves per section, adjustable in 1" increments, support 250 lbs. each with maximum cabinet load of 800 lbs.
Fatburger relies on Vita-Mix blenders to turn its hand-scooped ice cream into milkshakes. Vita-Mix's On-Counter Blending Station offers six programs, and a sturdy sound-abatement cover keeps noise downcrucial when the blenders and cash register sit near each other. The unit's 3-hp motor runs cool and resists overheating, while the 48-oz. XP container's wide base circulates ingredients nicely, cutting processing time by a third, the maker says.
SO SWEET AND SO COLD
Fatburger uses hand-scooped ice cream to create its signature shakes. The main ingredients are stored within easy reach of the blenders in a Hussmann 4-HD chilled cabinet. These cabinets feature a heavy gauge s/s top and bottom with molded rubber frame and foamed-in-place CFC-free urethane insulation for top energy efficiency. Inside, the cabinet features a cold-wall refrigeration system that holds ice cream at dipping or storage temperatures; an adjustable control lets you choose the setting. The bare-tube condenser requires minimum maintenance, says Hussmann, while the slide-out condensing unit makes for fast servicing.
TAP DANCING WITH CLEAN WATER
Fatburger eliminates the problem of premature clogging in its water filter cartridges by using A.J. Antunes' TAP 442 Ultra Filtration system. The TAP system uses two stages in its filtration: The first is self-cleaning mechanical, which filters out turbidity, cysts, bacteria and viruses. The second is chemical treatment, with a carbon filter that reduces chlorine, tastes and odor. The reduction rate of taste and odor, says the manufacturer, is 10 to 1, vs. the NSF standard of 2 to 1. Further, a self-cleaning step periodically flushes out trapped impurities, helping your filters last longer between replacements. Other plusses: The TAP system catches particles as small as 0.015 microns, 33 times smaller than the 0.5-micron size trapped by typical filters. TAP will filter 120,000 gals. of water per carbon change, company says.
A.J. Antunes & Co.
MAKING A CURTAIN OF AIR
At Fatburger's employee/delivery entrance, a Mars air curtain unit (Model 42C, to be precise) mounted above the doorway generates a nearly undetectable curtain of air when the door is opened. The curtain creates a nonstop barrier against the outside climate, saving on HVAC costs. It also helps block out flying insects and windborne pollutants. When installed above the entrances to freezer and cooler rooms, the curtain keeps refrigerated air in and reduces humidity and/or ice buildup. The cabinet is made of 1-piece, molded white polyethylene.
Mars Air Systems