Smashburger trying to get a bachelor's degree in burgers

DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL - Smashburger is hoping to give a new group of consumers an education in its food through a new push to expand on college campuses nationwide.

The Denver-based fast-casual chain is doubling its university locations this fall, adding stores at Eastern Michigan University and Kean University in New Jersey. It already has stores at Texas A&M University and the University of Notre Dame. It has not announced plans yet for its first Colorado college restaurant.

Citing a recent study showing that 65 percent of college students eat on-campus most of the time, company officials believe they have a captive audience looking for better, low-priced food.

But it also believes its business model adapts well to colleges, as the chain’s compact kitchen design allows it to go into spaces as small as 400 square feet and its smashing process for its meats allows for quicker cooking that is key in high-volume environments like student centers.

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