The Habit Burger Grill

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The Habit Burger Grill
IndustryFast casual restaurant
FoundedNovember 15, 1969; 51 years ago (1969-11-15)
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
Number of locations
Area served
United States, Cambodia, China, United Arab Emirates
Key people
Russell W. Bendel, CEO
Ira Fils, CFO
ParentYum! Brands
The Habit Burger Grill
The Habit Burger Grill
The Habit Burger Grill

The Habit Burger Grill is an American fast casual restaurant chain that specializes in charbroiled hamburgers. The company also sells other typical fast-casual fare.[2] Its headquarters are in Irvine, California.[3]

In March 2020, Yum! Brands, the parent company of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC, acquired The Habit.


The Habit Burger Grill was founded on November 15, 1969 in Santa Barbara, California as a family-owned business.[2][4]

From 1969 to 2007, the chain slowly expanded around the Los Angeles metropolitan area to 23 restaurants. In 1980, Brent and Bruce Reichard purchased the original location in Goleta.[5]

In 2007, KarpReilly, a private equity firm, acquired a majority ownership in the company and began to rapidly expand the chain, including franchising.[6]

In 2014, Habit had 109 locations either open for business or under construction, including an expansion into Seattle.[7] At that time, the company was one of the fastest-growing fast food chains in the United States, with a 40% sales increase from 2012 to 2013.[8] In November 2014, the company raised $83.7 million in an initial public offering.[9][10][11] The share price immediately doubled.[12] By 2016, growth had slowed significantly, in line with the burger business.[13]

In 2017, the company announced plans to expand into the United Kingdom with 30 restaurants.[14]

In March 2020, Yum! Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell and KFC, acquired Habit.[15] Not included in the sale were the eight locations in Santa Barbara County, California, which remain under the ownership of the Reichard brothers.[5]


As of February 2021, Habit Burger Grill currently has over 300 locations,[16] mostly in California, as follows:[17]

Location # of locations

Arizona 16
California 210
Florida 10
Idaho 3
Maryland 5
Massachusetts 1[18]
Nevada 10
New Jersey 12
North Carolina 2
Pennsylvania 1
South Carolina 1
Utah 11
Virginia 3
Washington State 10
Cambodia 3[19]
China 8

The company also has a fleet of nine food trucks.[20]


In mid-2014, The Habit's "Charburger" was named the best burger in America by Consumer Reports, a nonprofit organization dedicated to unbiased product testing, scoring an 8.1 out of 10 among 53,745 participants.[21][22][23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Habit Burger Locations". Habit Burger & Grill.
  2. ^ a b Hile, K. (2016). The Handy California Answer Book. The Everest Files. Visible Ink Press. p. 335. ISBN 978-1-57859-623-2.
  3. ^ "Contact us". Habit Burger & Grill.
  4. ^ "About us". The Habit Burger Grill.
  5. ^ a b Kettmann, Matt; Yamamura, Jean (January 7, 2020). "Habit Burger Deal Doesn't Include Santa Barbara County". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  6. ^ "The Habit Hires Bendel as CEO". KarpReilly. June 3, 2008.
  7. ^ Ho, Vanessa (July 11, 2014). "America's 'best burger' coming to Seattle". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  8. ^ Hughes, Paul (August 12, 2014). "Irvine Burger Chain Reportedly Mulls IPO". American City Business Journals.
  9. ^ "SEC Form 424B4, 333-199394 IPO Prospectus". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. November 19, 2014.
  10. ^ Gayathri, Amrutha; Sachin, Sai (November 19, 2014). "Burger chain Habit Restaurants prices IPO at $18 a share". Reuters.
  11. ^ Huddleston, Tom Jr. (November 20, 2014). "Burger chain Habit's IPO sizzles in debut". Fortune.
  12. ^ Dimri, Neha; Ramakrishnan, Sruthi (November 20, 2014). "As diners line up, another fast casual chain sizzles on debut". Reuters.
  13. ^ Taylor, Kate (July 14, 2016). "Shares of the restaurant chain that serves the best burger in America are in a tailspin". Business Insider.
  14. ^ Scott, Ellen (November 9, 2017). "Habit burgers are coming to London". Metro.
  15. ^ "Yum! Brands Completes Acquisition of The Habit Restaurants, Inc" (Press release). PR Newswire. March 18, 2020.
  16. ^ "Locations". Habit Burger Grill.
  17. ^ "Locations". Habit Burger Grill.
  18. ^ "This popular California-based burger chain is coming to Massachusetts in 2020". masslive. 2019-08-05. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
  19. ^ "The Habit Burger Grill to Open First Store in Cambodia". QSR magazine. Retrieved 2021-03-21.
  20. ^ "Habit Burger looks to value offerings as 3Q same-store sales falter". Nation's Restaurant News. November 2, 2017.
  21. ^ Spiegel, Alison (July 24, 2014). "The Country's Best Burger Comes From A Chain You've Probably Never Heard Of". HuffPost.
  22. ^ Comoletti, Jill (July 10, 2014). "A Burger Chain You've Probably Never Heard Of Was Just Named Best In America". Business Insider.
  23. ^ "Best and worst fast-food restaurants in America". Consumer Reports. July 2014.

External links[edit]