Nicholas Jones was feeling conservative when he decided to call his fast-food restaurant Good Burger. Either that, or a little too smitten with the 1997 comedy movie of the same name.
Because based on how Jones describes the reviews from drooling customers, a more direct approach seems appropriate.
Like “Amazing” Burger. “Phenomenal” Burger.
Or “When people try our fries they are blown away by how good they are” Burger.
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Jones launched his first two Good Burger locations in 2018 — a food-court restaurant at Boise Towne Square, and a small counter at Chow Public Market and Eatery at the Boise Spectrum.
Now the concept is sizzling like grease on a griddle. He’ll open a flagship Downtown Boise restaurant March 10 at 1003 W. Main St. That restaurant will share space with The Drop, a self-serve beer bar with 20 taps.
Another Good Burger with The Drop is scheduled to debut in May at 3143 E. Magic View Drive, near St. Luke’s Meridian Medical Center. That will be a franchise operation.
Lastly, Jones plans to open a drive-thru Good Burger by late spring at 10889 W. Fairview Ave. in Boise — in the former home of Zimm’s Burger Stache.
Five Good Burger locations? In less than a year and a half?
“The rapid growth is driven just by success,” says Jones, who also owns Chow Public Market. “People are really, really liking it.”
Sheesh. Just how good is Good Burger?
“We’ve got phenomenal fries,” explains Jones, adding that he personally “engineered” them. “We’ve got special batter on them with special seasoning. Then we have a phenomenal burger. And people are picking up on it.
“They come, they have a burger, they’re like, ‘Holy crap, this is an amazing burger’ ... and they come again. That’s the beauty of that. There’s not much science behind it.”
The standard Good Burger ($6.27) comes with proprietary Good Sauce, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle and American cheese. It’s only slightly less popular than the menu’s best-seller, the Nick Burger ($7.87), which is topped with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, fresh avocado, bacon and ranch dressing. The name is a nod to the Nickelodeon network — where the “Good Burger” sketch originated — and to Jones’ own name. “It’s my favorite burger,” he says, chuckling, “but it’s also the people’s favorite burger.”
Orders typically take 3 1/2 to 4 minutes to arrive. ”It’s still fast food, but I call it more fast-casual,” Jones says. His market research suggests there’s crossover between his customers and fans of Boise Fry Company and Smashburger.
That should keep all three chains on their toes.
“The variety is something that is probably beneficial,” Jones says. “There’s another player that’s entered the game, which is me, which I feel is executing really well.”
“It’s the quality of that burger,” Jones explains. “We’ve got the wagyu (beef) that people can buy, but we also have our typical ground chuck. It’s all grass-fed, no antibiotics, locally sourced. It’s just high-quality meat, and when you bite into it, you can tell: ‘Hmm, this is worth the price. I can taste the quality in it.’ ”
Good Burger customers don’t just enjoy the food. Many appreciate the restaurant’s social mission, too. During the Thanksgiving holiday last year, Good Burger paid for two dentists and a hygienist to visit a refugee camp and fix teeth in the Dominican Republic, Jones says.
“I want to make money, and I want to do good,” Jones says. “People see that, and they want to support that. People see it, and they eat it. We have a large volume of return customers.”
If you’re a Good Burger first-timer, make sure you grab an order of fries. Jones is confident he’ll hook you. Plenty of mall employees visit Good Burger just for that satisfying snack.
“Every day, we have the same people coming back, just want a fry and Coke,” Jones says. “We’ve got one guy that came by every day — Monday through Thursday when he’s working — for two months in a row.”