Daniel del Olmo
Umami Burger is an LA-based restaurant chain that specializes in gourmet burgers. Inspired by the Japanese “fifth sense” umami, meaning deliciousness beyond sweet, sour, salty and bitter, Umami Burger creates unique flavor combinations using umami-rich foods like soy sauce, miso paste, bonito flakes and more.
1 out of 5 burgers sold at Umami Burger is an Impossible Burger
New Impossible Burger Becomes a Top 3 Seller at Umami Burger
Q: Why did Umami decide to carry the Impossible Burger? What have the results been?
Daniel: Innovation has been in Umami Burger’s DNA since day one, and when learning more about Impossible Foods and their vision, we found we were completely aligned on delighting guests with meaningful innovation. Our initial reason for partnering with Impossible Foods was to offer our guests a craveable, innovative burger option. Additionally, we have been passionate about environmental impact and social causes supported by our various Artist Series initiatives: The Impossible Foods mission of sustainability and creating food that is good for people and the planet completely resonated with us.
Since introducing Impossible to our menu last year, it’s been in the top 3 burgers sold in nearly all locations, increased overall sales by 27% during first 6 weeks of launch (began in 9 locations in LA, now at 20) and representing ~20% of overall sales.
Q: What have your customers been saying about the Impossible Burger?
Daniel: We’ve seen an incredible response from our guests and noticed a significant amount of first-time guests specifically coming in to try the Impossible Burger.
Of course many vegetarians are excited about the addition to the menu, but a larger proportion of Impossible Burger fans are meat eaters. This burger tastes, cooks, and looks just like a beef burger but it’s a plant-based option. Meat eaters are definitely curious and interested to taste test. And when they do, they are incredulous in terms of taste and craveability, and the large majority signal a strong intent to purchase upon their next visit.
Q: What’s next for products like the Impossible Burger?
Daniel: The response we’ve seen from the burger has inspired us to create more options showcasing the Impossible patty, and we will be unveiling some more Impossible-based innovation.
Plant-based meats like Impossible are just getting started. I believe the success of the Impossible burger at Umami comes down to the fact that not only is it a delicious burger, but it also supports a cause that people are very passionate about: sustainability. Its success proves there is a desire in the market for delicious, environmentally-conscious, plant-based options and there’s only room to grow from here. People want to feel good about how they live and what they eat. And if we can help with that mission just a little, that makes us very happy.