Hero Certified Burgers

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Hero Certified Burgers
Industry Restaurants
Founded Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 2004
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Number of locations
over 55
Key people
President and CEO John Lettieri [1]
Products Hamburgers, sandwiches, french fries, poutine and milkshakes
Website www.heroburgers.com

Hero Certified Burgers is a quick service restaurant franchise chain that operates in Canada, with locations concentrated in Southern Ontario.


Hero Certified Burgers in Toronto

The chain was founded in 2004 by John Lettieri, who opened the first store in Hazelton Lanes in Yorkville, Ontario.[2][3][4] Lettieri also owns the restaurant chain Lettieri café, based in Toronto.[4] 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.[5]

The chain has over 55 locations in Ontario, as well as an upcoming location in Buffalo, New York.[6] 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.[4][7][8] 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,[9] smoked provolone and brie.

Many Hero Certified Burgers locations have Coca-Cola Freestyle machines as well.

Environmental stewardship[edit]

Hero Certified Burgers uses 100% Heritage Angus Beef, which adheres to sustainable agriculture practices.[4][5] 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.[5][10] The beef is seasoned during its preparation in restaurants.[7] 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."[5]

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.[4] The packaging, created by GreenDustries, won a Foodservice Packaging Institute award in 2010.[4][11]

Elements of sustainable design are utilized in the company's restaurants, such as using LED lighting, non-toxic cleaning products and reclaimed wood.[4]

Hero Certified Burgers also listed a number of food items that are non-GMO some of which include their lettuce and onions.[12]


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.[1] 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.[13]

Awards and recognition[edit]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "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. 
  2. ^ "Hero Burger: Champions of responsible food". The Canadian Business Journal. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Arrivals & Departures". West Annex News. January 9, 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Deveau, Denise (June 28, 2011). "You want eco-friendly with that?" (PDF). Financial Post. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Hero Certified Burgers: Where ‘Sustainable’ is the Name of the Game". The Canadian Business Journal. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Sanders, Nancy (June 2, 2014). Poutine and burgers coming to Elmwood Village. WIVB-TV. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Ogilvie, Megan (April 11, 2013). "Hero Certified Burger’s patties a better choice than most fast food". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "Canada: Hero Certified Burgers selects Ontario greenhouse Tomatoes". Horti Daily. September 18, 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  9. ^ Beer, Jeff (November 9, 2012). "Fast food: Invasion of the burger joints". Canadian Business. Retrieved 2 February 2014. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ October 20, 2010 - Foodservice Packaging Innovation Award Winners
  12. ^ "Hero Certified Burgers | Non-GMO Promise". heroburgers.com. Retrieved 2015-10-07. 
  13. ^ http://heroburgers.com/menu/think-pink/

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]