Eats Beat

Cool or creepy? This new burger-cam remembers you—and what you order

The TV theme said it years ago: “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.”

One chain burger grill gives that a high-tech twist: The BurgerFI off Western Center Boulevard knows your face.

The new north Fort Worth location of Florida-based BurgerFi, an all-natural burger grill, offers two special self-service stations with facial-recognition software.

As Forbes headlined, “Big Burger Is Watching You.”

Diners can either order from a clerk at the counter, or at a touchscreen kiosk that remembers a face and offers to place that person’s usual order.

If you always order a burger with a veggie patty, or extra mustard, or pickles on the side, BurgerFi knows the moment you step up to order.

No more explaining special orders over and over to inattentive cashiers: “no onions, extra sauce, hold the mustard.” BurgerFi’s computers remember.

(It’s not that different from a computer or smartphone site that remembers your preferences.)

BurgerFi isn’t the only restaurant anywhere using the kiosks, but apparently the new location at 6650 N. Beach St. is the first in Tarrant County. Dallas-based Malibu Poke and California-based Caliburger also use facial recognition order stations elsewhere.


Eats Beat Ep. 147

DFW Restaurant Week


Just as self-check is gaining popularity at supermarkets and discount stores, some diners order only from the kiosk, said franchise owner Max Roesh.

“I didn’t know whether people would like it but they do,” Roesh said.

“Younger people enjoy this more than ordering at the cashiers.”

BurgerFi’s local debut was last year in Champions Park in Arlington, but the Fort Worth location is different.

The order counter is smaller and less mind-boggling. BurgerFi has a lot of choices and options: 10 kinds of burgers or sandwiches with four kinds of beef, chicken, vegetable-based or quinoa-veggie patties, plus fries, onion rings, custard and shakes.

An “AmpliFi” combo adds fries, an onion ring and a drink for $3.99, putting the combo price at about $10 and up.

It’s interesting that BurgerFi chose an older shopping center in the Fossil Creek neighborhood at Western Center Boulevard and North Beach Street, catty-corner from Los Molcajetes. But with the new toll lane open, it’s a quick drive from downtown.

That’s Fred’s North, Flips, OC Burger and Jakes territory, but BurgerFi is different enough to gain its own following and also draw famiiies from a wider area.

BurgerFi is open for lunch and dinner daily at 6650 N. Beach St., 817-717-4743, burgerfi.com.

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Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.
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