Chef David Jetter, VP of Culinary Innovation and Product Development at George’s Inc., shares restaurant trends for burger customization.

George’s Prepared Foods, LLC recently purchased a facility in Tennessee that produces fully cooked burgers and sausage patties. This has inspired my team to start thinking about these new categories and the trends driving them.

According to Technomic Menu Insights, nearly 50% of restaurants have burgers on their menu.The 2017 Burger Consumer Trend Report, which surveyed more than 1,500 consumers, 58% said it’s very important that they can customize their toppings and 46% said it’s very important that operators specify the type of beef they use.

So customization is king and the concept isn’t new – it’s just gotten a lot better. Almost half of all restaurants have some type of burger on the menu and while the classic toppings are still strong, we are seeing trends in more premium and ethnic meats and toppings. Recent burger builds include things like pico de gallo and guacamole, sriracha, havarti cheese and grilled onion, and even a chorizo burger.

I love to entertain at home, and burgers allow me to create something everybody will love. My favorite burger creation is piled high with grilled onions, bacon and topped with a perfectly poached egg.