A California- and Arizona-based burger joint opened its doors in Utah this week by giving back to local nonprofits.
Preceding the grand opening on Jan. 10, the Habit Burger Grill opened its Salt Lake City location with three charity events in which all proceeds were given to the YMCA of Northern Utah, the Boys and Girls Clubs and the YWCA of Salt Lake City.
Adrienne Shaw Smith, the marketing and events coordinator at the YMCA, was appreciative of the event.
“The money raised from this charity event really makes an impact to our organization,” Smith said. “The funds will be used in a financial aid package for our youth.”
The event highlighted the kind of service customers can expect at the Habit.
“It was a really exciting day. You could tell that the employees were invested in the company,” Smith said. “They were passionate and knowledgeable about the menu. They really wanted to make customers feel comfortable. Because it was a cold day, there were even base heaters outside.”
Tom Hartman, managing partner of the Habit, expressed the success of the events.
“We were very well received,” Hartman said. “There was a line out the door and down the sidewalk.”
He attributed much of the success to Habit’s philosophy of “not being the biggest, but the best.”
Hartman also said that they plan to open two more locations in Utah this year.
Mike Mirkil, the Habit’s vice president of marketing, discussed reasons for not choosing a location in Provo.
“Finding the right locations for our restaurants is a challenge,” he said. “We look for sites that have both large residential and daytime business populations and are highly visible, which aren’t always easy to find.”
Mirkil also stressed the importance of being the best.
“We foster a culture of hospitality,” he said. “The people who work there really enjoy it.”
Consistency and quality are part of the Habit experience shown through its employee motto “One Habit, One Sound.”
“The charburger that you get in California will be the same charburger that you get here,” Mirkil said.
The Habit’s quality of food is what excites Austin Simmons, a UVU sophomore studying English education. In addition to great food, he said the Habit offers reasonable prices.
“The great thing about the Habit is it’s not too expensive,” Simmons said. “I would go to the Habit once a week on my mission. My favorite thing is the mushroom swiss burger. I’m already looking up directions.”