Burger Chain No One’s Ever Heard of Takes Top Honors in National Survey

Coming to New Jersey.
Coming to New Jersey. Photo: Habit Burger

The August issue of Consumer Reports features a very thorough fast-food survey, ranking some 65 chains from best to worst. It mostly confirms what everybody already knows: Chick-fil-A trumps KFC; Chipotle is better than Taco Bell; and Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s basically end up tied because they’re the same place anyhow. But in the coveted burger category, a dark horse crushed the competition: Santa Barbara-based Habit Burger Grill beat out, if only narrowly, presumed champ In-N-Out and runners-up Five Guys and Smashburger. The small chain, established in 1969 and known for its maybe-soon-to-be-iconic Double Charburger, didn’t begin franchising until last November, but it’s clearly not wasting any time. It already has plans to invade the Northwest with 25 locations then head east, where it may open as many as three. The first is a sure thing, though; it arrives later this summer, just over in Fair Lawn, Bergen County, a mere hour-long burger journey via New Jersey Transit. [Consumer Reports]