Hero Certified Burgers
|Founded||Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 2004|
|Headquarters||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
Number of locations
|President and CEO John Lettieri |
|Products||Hamburgers, sandwiches, french fries, poutine and milkshakes|
The chain was founded in 2004 by John Lettieri, who opened the first store in Hazelton Lanes in Yorkville, Ontario. Lettieri also owns the restaurant chain Lettieri café, based in Toronto. The company was the first Canadian franchise to focus on the provision of fast foods using food products from vendors that adhere to sustainable practices.
The chain has over 55 locations in Ontario, as well as an upcoming location in Buffalo, New York. Hero Certified Burgers are partners of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, and the official burger of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, and Toronto Marlies.
Fare includes hamburgers and veggie burgers, poultry and wild Alaskan salmon sandwiches, poutine, Ontario-grown greenhouse tomatoes and gluten-free food options. Among the gluten-free options, gluten free buns can be purchased for burgers. The company uses french fries, but offers real cheese, such as gorgonzola, smoked provolone and brie.
Many Hero Certified Burgers locations have Coca-Cola Freestyle machines as well.
Hero Certified Burgers uses 100% Heritage Angus Beef, which adheres to sustainable agriculture practices. The beef contains no preservatives or additives, cattle are raised in a free range environment and are grass-fed, and no antibiotics or growth hormones are used. The beef is seasoned during its preparation in restaurants. In 2012, Heritage Angus ranchers won the 2012 Canadian National Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA), a national award that "recognizes excellence and sustainable management and conservation practices."
Hero Certified Burgers was the first Canadian chain to use a new type of packaging for all of their products that is produced from 100% post-industrial/post-consumer recycled paper, and uses 35% to 70% less paper per piece than traditional forms of fast food packaging. The packaging, created by GreenDustries, won a Foodservice Packaging Institute award in 2010.
Hero Certified Burgers also listed a number of food items that are non-GMO some of which include their lettuce and onions.
In 2010, the company donated $8,000 to the Toronto SickKids Foundation, in a charity drive wherein a hamburger-combination dish was discounted to half-price for three days, and $0.50 from each sale was donated. From September 28 to October 25, 2015, Hero Certified Burgers donated to the Ontario chapter of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. $1.00 was donated for every pink bun purchased. The buns were coloured with beet juice.
Awards and recognition
In 2005, Hero Certified Burgers was a finalist in the ARC Awards, nominated for Best New Retail Concept. In 2012, Hero Certified Burgers won the Top Choice Award for Top Burger Shop in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). In 2013, founder John Lettieri was a finalist in Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
- "Hero Certified Burgers and SickKids: A Great Combo". Foodservice and Hospitality magazine. February 11, 2011. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Hero Burger: Champions of responsible food". The Canadian Business Journal. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Arrivals & Departures". West Annex News. January 9, 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- Deveau, Denise (June 28, 2011). "You want eco-friendly with that?" (PDF). Financial Post. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Hero Certified Burgers: Where ‘Sustainable’ is the Name of the Game". The Canadian Business Journal. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- Sanders, Nancy (June 2, 2014). Poutine and burgers coming to Elmwood Village. WIVB-TV. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- Ogilvie, Megan (April 11, 2013). "Hero Certified Burger’s patties a better choice than most fast food". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Canada: Hero Certified Burgers selects Ontario greenhouse Tomatoes". Horti Daily. September 18, 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- Beer, Jeff (November 9, 2012). "Fast food: Invasion of the burger joints". Canadian Business. Retrieved 2 February 2014.[permanent dead link]
- Ellwood, Mark (April 2, 2011). "Toronto is often called New York North, Canada's answer to the Big Apple". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- October 20, 2010 - Foodservice Packaging Innovation Award Winners
- "Hero Certified Burgers | Non-GMO Promise". heroburgers.com. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
- "Hero burgers aren’t super enough for city hall: Toronto snubs chain’s bid to operate Nathan Phillips eatery". Toronto Metro. February 25, 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- Peat, Don (April 2, 2013). "Ford favours Hero Burger in Nathan Phillips Square". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- Alcoba, Natalie (April 4, 2013). "Mayor Rob Ford rallies councillors to bring Hero Burgers to Nathan Phillips Square". National Post. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- Church, Elizabeth (April 4, 2013). "Burger-meister Ford wins debate to bring a Hero to City Hall". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- Orman, Sasha. "Hero Certified Burgers on the Rise". Food Digital magazine. pp. 76–83. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
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