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Burger Franchise Opportunities: New Burger Restaurant Trends Shaping 2021

Nowadays, burger restaurants are more popular than ever, so if you choose to get into the business, it’s important to find an approach that sets you apart. Here are some of the up-and-coming trends that will help you stand out from the pack.


Comfort food has always been a favorite of diners, but it saw a drastic resurgence during the stay-at-home orders brought about through 2020. The trend is looking to continue into the new year, with an expanded definition. While folks still enjoy foods that remind them of home, customers’ palates are adapting to include more global flavors and items that branch out beyond the traditional comfort food menu.


Just as comfort food restaurants have enjoyed a renewed popularity, so have drive-thru concepts. Quick-serve restaurants (QSR) are affordable, convenient, and consistent in an otherwise unpredictable time. Drive-thru visits increased by 26 percent in 2020, prompting many restaurant franchises to expand the service to more locations. Brands that never implemented drive-thrus before are now successfully updating their restaurants to include the convenient format.

Drive-thrus will continue to be seen as the safest, most cost-effective way for customers to enjoy their favorite restaurants into the new year and beyond.


While drive-thrus will continue to play a major role in sales for QSRs, customers will seek additional convenience through digital interfaces. Americans are more tuned in to their mobile devices than ever, so the accessibility of mobile ordering options will critical for restaurant brands.

QSR brands that don’t already have mobile apps or digital ordering capabilities will need to develop these technologies to provide their customers with the most convenient experience possible


With safety and technological advances still at the forefront, restaurants would do well to continue adapting menus to suit a broad range of customers’ dietary preferences, including vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free items. Particularly in the over-saturated burger restaurant market, providing more options will ensure that customers are able to enjoy a dining experience that feels tailor-made for them.


While burger franchise opportunities may abound, concepts that go beyond the basic burger are the ones that really make a lasting impression. Likewise, Gold Star Chili operated as a regional favorite for decades and was able to expand an already dedicated customer base by adding burgers (along with chicken sandwiches and healthy salads) to the menu. This adaptation allows Gold Star franchisees to capitalize on the recognition of a much-loved brand while opening up to new market growth.


The right LTOs strike a balance between traditional favorites and new ideas that provide new options for customers. The benefits of LTOs are two-fold — your customers will be excited at the opportunity to try unique offerings that give them a different taste of the food they already know and love. And as a business, you will gain invaluable knowledge about your customers’ dining habits and preferences.

Membership programs offer a similar advantage to your unique restaurant concept. Burger restaurant franchises are particularly well-equipped to benefit from this trend.

Gold Star Chili offers customers the opportunity to join their eClub and become a member of Gold Star Insider, where they will receive information about special promotions, events, contests, and more, delivered right to their mobile devices.


2020 has been a hard year for many of us. With social consciousness at the front of many diners’ minds, one of the ways your restaurant can make a mark is by giving back to your community. Gold Star Chili looks forward to continuing its commitment to making the world a more hospitable place by engaging with community organizers to participate in fundraisers that benefit various local and regional charities.

Goodwill goes a long way, and by becoming a cornerstone of the community, your restaurant will grow its appeal.


Gold Star Chili has maintained its success within the $256 billion QSR sector for over half a century. Rooted in family tradition and a focus on hospitality, Gold Star’s values are evident not only in their delicious food, but in their forward-thinking attitude and dedication to not just customer satisfaction, but franchisee success.

Visit us to learn more about how Gold Star Chili may be the right franchise opportunity for you and your future.