Welcome to the Ultimate Burger

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Chapter Four

“The Ultimate Burger”

“The freshest beef in the business” is what the tag line said in all the commercials covering the lower south west United States. The claim is true because it’s the only chain to butcher and store their own beef every day. The ad’s also mention a “secret family recipe”

For seasoning the beef, rumored to have 26 herbs and spices. The owner and inventor of said recipe has it locked away in a safe under his house, and patented in 50 states.

There are, in reality, only 6 herbs and spices in the recipe and the rest is “natural flavoring” and monosodium glutamate. Any health benefits gained by fresh beef are lost to toxic flavoring. Some folks complained about a queasy feeling and stiffness of the neck but no serious medical conditions were proven.

The business plan was relatively simple. The Ultimate Burger would offer an extravagant version of everything the big 3 chains were making. There was no “Quarter Pounder”, it was a 1/3 pound burger, after cooking, called “The Works” and it was hands down the best burgers in 3 counties.

The inventor of The Ultimate Burger restaurant franchise was always irritated by French fries. They are all different sizes, colors, and consistency. The consumer has a difficult and messy proposition in eating this mandatory side dish. So, the fries are all 4” long, and only the golden brown fries make the order. All the other chains called them French fries, but The Ultimate Burger calls them “French cut fries” and there are approximately 35 in an order. They do not come in small, medium or large. Specialty items included “Grandma’s apple pie”, “Southern style milk shakes” and “Real fruit smoothies”. Most of the people in the area put on a clean shirt to dine at Chase Murphy’s restaurant and there was no drive thru service.

The franchise had a price tag of $300,000 if you didn’t have an adequate building or $175,000 if you had an existing restaurant or something similar with enough power to accommodate the on site slaughtering and disposal. Chase was able to purchase the “Old Mill Inn” in its entirety, so he was all set on all the requirements, and the location was absolutely perfect, as highway 119 looped around to connect with I-25. It took 20 years of teaching a course in business at the community college to come up with the money for the franchise, and a small inheritance from his parents passing

Procured the property.

The only way to try to keep prices down was to hire wait staff that was mostly immigrants and transient illegal Mexicans. In north east Colorado, there is no shortage of quick hire, short term immigrants for employment. Chase cut $18,000 off the expenses by hiring “Cousin Murph” as both the manger and the butcher. But mostly Cousin Murph would help a single mom get on her feet or an immigrant’s nephew earns a little traveling money. People came and went from The Ultimate Burger and that’s the way it was. Only twice did someone come asking about someone who was said to be working there, but what was one to say? Chase had no idea where these people went. He really didn’t notice that they went thru 2 new hires every month, on average.

Welcome to “The Ultimate Burger”

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