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Burtons Grill & Bar

Up and down the Eastern Seaboard, Burtons Grill & Bar greets guests with scratch-made food. We spoke to Denise Herrera, VP of Food & Beverage, about how this chain has adapted so well to consumers' changing dietary lifestyles.

A giant cheeseburger served at Burtons Grill & Bar.

If you had to describe Burtons in just a few words, what would they be?

It’s an upscale, polished-casual restaurant specializing in contemporary American cuisine. Our passion is delighting every guest with customization.

How did the restaurant get started?

Three former steakhouse executives wanted a high-quality scratch kitchen for their new endeavor, and they hired me as the founding chef. We opened the first location in Hingham, Massachusetts, in 2005. We didn’t want to be tied to any one food category like steak or fish—we wanted to have something for everyone.

How did you decide to tailor parts of your menu around
allergies and wellness?

In the beginning, it was about customization: giving the guests exactly what they wanted. We would split food in the kitchen for no charge. Our CEO, Kevin Harron, has celiac disease. I watched how he navigated our menu and it made me want to try out more gluten-free items. First, we came out with a small gluten-free menu. We began sourcing gluten-free pasta, dinner rolls, burger buns. Our customers truly appreciate it.

What does the Lifestyle section of the menu represent?

It started as a small section for paleo-friendly dishes, and we watched the interest grow. We always had a vegetarian menu, so we combined those options into one place. We can also accommodate eating plans like keto and Whole30. That section will continue to evolve. In my opinion, this is how people are shifting their dining preferences.

What are some of your signature dishes?

General Tso’s Cauliflower as an appetizer, the Superfood Salad, and for entrées, the Crab Crusted Haddock and Mediterranean Chicken Risotto are very popular. People go off the hook for our burgers, and our Short Rib Grilled Cheese Sandwich is out of this world. In the Lifestyle section, customers love the Roasted Veggie Quinoa Bowl. Our children’s menus are also popular.

Having a consistent broadline company like Sysco that can deliver on the right timeline has worked out great for us.

Denise Herrera

Burtons VP of Food & Beverage

What food items do you typically source from Sysco?

We get our chicken, some beef (including all our burger meat) and our pork chops from Sysco. All of our olive oils, vinegars and spices are from Sysco, too. We also get our gluten-free products, such as flour, panko, burger buns and pasta from Sysco, and those items—as you can tell—are a very important part of our menu.

How has success been an integral partner in your success?

Having a consistent broadline company like Sysco that can deliver on the right timeline has worked out great for us. I also like the price stability. We have a great relationship with our account representative, Steve Husson. We’ve worked together for four or five years now, and if there is a problem, he is very responsive. Steve watches our account closely and makes sure it’s all working properly.

What are your plans for the future?

We plan to continue to open restaurants, with more coming in the Southern market. And we will continue to push forward with our allergy commitment, and with the Lifestyle section, making sure we are offering relevant, healthy, flavorful cuisine and beverages to our customers.