It's hard to keep up with empire builder Josh Henderson, but we're doing our damnedest. Two weeks ago, the chef's Huxley Wallace Collective announced that its dizzying number of restaurants slated to open in the next year would include two branches of Great State Burger. Now Henderson tells Eater what to expect.
At its new duo of Great States, Huxley Wallace is planning a short menu of about three burgers ($4-$5 each), fries, onion rings, and shakes, and wants to present a new model of quality burgers served quickly... very quickly. In the same vein of Starbucks' Order and Pay app, not only will customers be able to order from an app and avoid a wait at Great State, but Henderson's team will also be able to track when someone is miles or feet away, and hold an order briefly if need be. As a final touch, when customers who have preordered arrive, they can either pick up their order to go (no wait), eat it there in the restaurant, or have their order delivered to them curbside.
In the same vein of Starbucks' Order and Pay app, not only will customers be able to order from an app and avoid a wait at Great State, but Henderson's team will also be able to track when someone is miles or feet away, and hold an order briefly if need be.
While we all love swift service, Huxley Wallace is imagining that this model will be especially helpful for at least two major groups: Parents on the go, and busy Amazonians and others trying to pick up lunch quickly between meetings. The group is currently working with focus groups and app developers to work out kinks.
Menu development is also underway. Henderson's crew is lining up a baker for the buns and will start considering different meat options this week. When they have a solid burger prospect, they plan to roll it out at Quality Athletics for some fan testing. Single and double burgers will be simple—lettuce, tomatoes, American cheese, house special sauce—and there will likely be the option to add caramelized onions, as well as grab housemade pickles from a condiment bar.
The first Great State Burger is coming in Ravenna early this fall, with the second slotted for South Lake Union around October.