In Japan hamburger is a symbol of fast food with low price and short delivery time. McDonald is its typical example. On the other hand, recently the concept of gourmet burger with high quality and high price is getting recognition by ordinary Japanese. Shake Shack from New York which opened in Japan in 2015 is a typical example of such burger.
However, there was also a Japanese burger chain restaurant which has been focusing on the premium quality since 1972 and also focusing what the burger fitting to Japanese is. It’s Mos Burger.
Mos Burger was opened in 1972 by Mr. Satoshi Sakurada who learned the way to make burgers from Tommy’s, an American burger restaurant. However, he didn’t just imitate its way. In order to make the burger fitting to the taste of Japanese, he developed his original recipe and conceived an idea to put Bolognese source on patty. In Japan Bolognese source is often called “meat source” and very popular as a typical foreign taste.
Mos Burger is not a so “fast food” as they cook it after order. And their basic Mos Burger is 370 Japanese Yen (approx. 3.7 USD), while their rival burger chain restaurant McDonald Japan sometimes make a campaign to serve their basic hamburger with the price of 100 JPY (approx. 1 USD).
But Mos Burger stack to their way. As for the vegetable of their burger they bought only from contracted farmers in Japan to get safe food. Also in order to attract Japanese customers they created “teriyaki” burger, which is now popular in the US as well, and even created “rice burger”, a burger on which they put a patty between rice cakes instead of buns.
With such many unique efforts, now Mos Burger is the 2nd biggest burger chain restaurant in Japan next to McDonald Japan. Reflecting their strategy to focus good and safe food, there is modest atmosphere inside the restaurant.
They also focus on healthy food. In addition to regular meat patty, they serve “soy patty”, patty made from soy beans instead of meat. Furthermore they also serve “Natsumi”, a burger on which they put a patty between lettuce instead of buns. (I’m not sure if I can call it “burger” though.)
I want to see how Mos Burger will keep developing new burgers by answering the changing demand of customers.
Below is their website (English available).