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5 Napkins

I was in mid-town Manhattan a couple of weeks ago.

The place is so full of energy it almost lifts you off your feet.

It’s a little frenetic for me as a steady diet, as I am of the Chromosomes California. But walking down 7th Avenue around Time Square is a sensory feast and you can store the dynamism in your memory banks and revisit whenever you like.

The streets around mid-town are awash with restaurants – restaurants of every size, flavor, ethnicity and price. I don’t know how they all stay in business, but walking back to my hotel from a business meeting late on a breathtaking May afternoon I marveled at the culinary diversity.

But I wasn’t looking to stop and eat. I had fallen in love with a little place down the street from my hotel and was strolling down 9th Avenue when I glanced across the street and was stopped dead in my tracks by a brand that was scrolled across the awning over the entrance to a restaurant

Marketing brands don’t stop everybody in their tracks, but I’m a little odd that way.

The communication was so immediate and so strong that I almost abandoned the planned rendezvous with my cute little restaurant down the street.

The brand?

                                     5 NAPKIN BURGER

Five napkins! Five? Whoa…. This burger has got to be seriously juicy.

I get an instant image of a wickedly luscious hamburger and can feel the juice start to penetrate the napkins and leak onto my hand. . The thought of it almost propelled me across 9th Avenue. If it hadn’t been for a storming hoard of antagonistic, horn-honking New York cabbies I might have made the dash.

Instead, I just stared at the branded awning over the entrance and smiled.What a Great Name.

True, you have to have some kind of ranking on the Burger Aficionado scale to appreciate my reaction. My vegetarian daughter and her Vegan husband, bothSports Illustrated trim, healthy specimens, would react…eh, less favorably.

But I love a good burger and trim bodies are overrated.

Here’s a picture of the restaurant’s namesake from the 5 Napkin  Burger website.

In case you can’t read the description, it says, “The name says it all. 10 oz. fresh ground chuck, Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions and rosemary aioli on a soft white roll. Way too juicy for one napkin. Or four.”

Lest you think it’s all burgers, this place has a fabulous menu. Take a look.


There are five locations now – 3 in Manhattan, one in Boston and one in Miami.

Can I get an amen for an LA opening?

Premium burger chains are experiencing a mouth-watering emergence these days. Here in LA, Umami Burger has expanded handsomely. The brand itself isn’t driving the expansion, however, as one has to research online to even find out what it means.

The tastes of sweet, salty, bitter and sour are familiar, but there is a fifth taste we can perceive with our tongue. Called umami, its taste has been described as rounded, rich and savory.

It’s a cool word but a foggy brand. The Umami phenomenon is not driven by the esoteric Japanese name, but by word of  mouth about some of the most seriously delicious burgers on planet Earth.

Another upscale burger chain that has been blossoming across the Southland is The Counter. Good burgers. They have an extraordinary variety of toppings and sauces and other add ons, but their brand doesn’t really tell their story.I drove by one of their locations several times thinking it was some kind of deli.

I’m not a restaurant critic; I do marketing – surveys, positioning and branding. But you don’t have to be a marketing professional to understand which is the better burger brand.

Five Napkin Burger

Umami Burger

The Counter

Personally, I love the 5 Napkin Burger brand and I have this to look forward to…the next time I’m in Manhattan, I’m going to do Five Napkin Burger proud.

We can also do your business “proud” whether you need help with your brand or simply want to improve your marketing and increase your sales.

It’s what we do. We conduct surveys that drive sales.

“We did not have the slightest concept of how incredible On Target would prove to be or actual return would be on our investment…. When we implemented On Target’s survey findings our profits increased and our marketing costs decreased.” CEO