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Hopdoddy Burger Bar and the Top 500 logo.jpg Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Hopdoddy Burger Bar had the third-fastest-growing sales in the burger category in 2023 with 19.5% sales growth.

Hopdoddy is the emerging burger brand to beat

The Texas-based burger bar restaurant had the third fastest-growing sales in the burger category in 2023, ahead of Whataburger, In-N-Out, and McDonald’s

Hopdoddy — an Austin-based, fast-casual burger chain known for its unique proteins and sustainable meat sourcing practices — is one of the hottest burger brands out there according to 2023 sales figures.

Now the 289th largest restaurant chain, it had the third-fastest-growing sales in the burger category in 2023 with 19.5% sales growth, behind only Shake Shack and fellow Austin burger brand P. Terry’s.

While many mid-sized, fast-casual burger chains are investing more in plant-based proteins, Hopdoddy is all about the beef (and bison, and ahi tuna, and chicken). In fact, the company recently removed all manufactured plant-based proteins from its menu (though it kept a housemade vegetarian patty on the menu) and invested instead in “regenerative meat,” which uses agricultural techniques that are healthy for the ecosystem, like raising animals on grazing pastures with healthy soil and no hormones or antibiotics.

This switch from Impossible and Beyond to beef and bison that helps the environment is just one of the factors that helps Hopdoddy stand out from the crowd of trendy burger brands. CEO Jeff Chandler emphasized that his brand is constantly looking for new ways to redefine and repackage the simple burger, from the eight proteins on the menu to the sometimes-unexpected toppings and flavors in every sandwich, like the Llano Poblano burger topped with poblanos, or a burger version of a classic club sandwich made with a ground turkey patty.

“We do the familiar in an unfamiliar way,” Chandler said. “We are an elevated burger brand that thinks about burgers differently than anyone else … the breadth and depth of how we build burgers, the quality, the uniqueness, the variety of what we put into it, is just done differently. We think it’s more special.”

Specials are actually the name of the game at Hopdoddy. Every month the team at Hopdoddy comes up with a burger special of the month. For January, that burger was the Big Parma — a burger version of the classic chicken parmesan hero that comes back as a monthly special every year. 

“We think of any unique flavors and proteins that we can put in between hamburger buns, and we showcase that every month with our specials,” Chandler said. “Early on, our founders had a saying, ‘If we can grind it and grill it, we can serve it,’ and that’s been our mantra ever since. … Whether people are coming in for the first time, or they’re coming in to try the new burger of the month, we built that loyalty on being unique and differentiated.”

Although Hopdoddy only opened three net stores in 2023, the brand plans to expand more this year in its core markets like Nashville, Tenn., and Texas.

Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected]

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