Umami Burger to launch U-Mini to-go concept

The Umami Burger chain is planning to debut another variant of the concept in Los Angeles this summer.

Parent company Los Angeles-based Umami Restaurant Group said Thursday it is planning to open a streamlined version of its full-service burger concept that also will serve as a test location for new menu items and technology innovations.

Dubbed U-Mini, the new variant will debut in a 1,200-square-foot space in Los Angeles’ Westwood Village, a neighborhood next to the UCLA campus. The company already operates a pizza concept called 800 Degrees nearby.

U-Mini will feature a limited version of the full-service Umami Burger menu with the addition of test products. The restaurant also will test web and app ordering, as well as tablet-only customer service.

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With only about 45 seats, U-Mini will focus mostly on to-go business. Guests will be able to order in advance and pick up. Food will be served on biodegradable and compostable dishware.

U-Mini is not the same concept as the planned U-ko, another quick-service variation of Umami Burger, which the company is planning to unveil later this year.

Adam Fleischman, Umami Burger’s founder, said U-ko will be a “more standardized version that we’re hoping to roll out nationally and internationally.”

U-ko will feature burgers at a lower price point, for example, while U-Mini’s prices will be the same as Umami Burger, where burgers start at $10.

Founded in 2009, the eight-unit Umami Burger is expected to see rapid growth this year, reaching as many as 20 locations, including possibly in New York.

California locations scheduled to open this year include Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Thousand Oaks, Laguna Beach, and Oakland. A flagship Umami Burger also is expected to open this summer in Los Angeles at The Grove lifestyle center.

Earlier this year, Umami Restaurant Group opened UMAMIcatessen in downtown Los Angeles, a venue that includes a collection of five restaurant concepts, including an Umami Burger.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected] [5].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout [6]