Food: Loaded buns as the burger war rages

  • @EmilyJupp

The burger continues to have a golden moment in the UK, with restaurants such as Meat Liquor, Burger and Lobster, Lucky Chip, MEATmarket and Dirty Burger turning bread and mince into a gastronomic art form.

And yet, can we really compete with the Americans, whose average consumption per capita of three burgers a week must be testament to their fast-food pre-eminence? We are about to find out whether the real burger kings are from the US or the UK, as one of Barack Obama's favourite American restaurant chains, Five Guys, plans to launch over here. Sir Charles Dunstone, the Carphone Warehouse founder who will open the first of many Five Guys in London next year, has no apparent history of working in fast food, but there are similarities in both businesses' humble beginnings.

Sir Charles abandoned his degree to set up his first shop with £6,000 of savings, initially selling phones from his London flat in 1989. Just three years earlier, four brothers in Arlington, Virginia, opened a burger joint in cramped premises after they were advised to "start a business or go to college".

A blogger friend says a Five Guys cheese-and-bacon burger is "better than any other burger I've had in the UK, apart from MEATmarket".

Let the burger wars begin.