Restaurant opening is a smash hit
Smashburger opened their first Lowcountry location with a ceremonial first smash by Mayor Bill Collins.
A short order chef at Howard Johnson Jr.’s in Myrtle Beach in the early 1960s, Collins reminisced on his days behind the grill.
“I got paid 25 cents per hour and all-we-could-eat,” he said. “They lost money on that one.”
Smashburger head of marketing Jeremy Morgan said that the Denver chain works with franchisees to partner with local charities and organizations to tie in with the community.
Franchise owner Josh Snyder decided to pair with the MUSC Children’s Hospital Fund. For every burger or chicken sandwich sold in the month of October, $1 will be donated to the fund with a minimum of $5,000. A donation box will also be available for those who wish to make additional contributions. Snyder said that the choice to work with MUSC was obvious.
“We looked for a worthy cause and with their strong namesake we thought it would be a good fit for our family organization,” he said.
Hayden Dollason, a 13-year-old girl with a mild form of aging disorder progenia was on-hand to watch Mayor Collins cook a burger.
“Lets watch Mayor Collins and make sure he doesn’t make any mistakes,” said Cynthia Dollason to her daughter.
“Mayor Collins has already made some mistakes,” the mayor replied, drawing a laugh from the crowded kitchen.
After getting a chance to make her own burger Hayden was told that she might have a job waiting for her at the establishment.
“I can’t wait to make some money,” she quipped.
Smashburger has locations in 29 states and four countries. The Summerville location is the second in the Palmetto State joining the Columbia restaurant. Snyder plans to open 5-6 more Smashburgers between Mt. Pleasant, West Ashley and the peninsula.
Every Smashburger has a local menu item that distinguishes itself from the rest of the chains. The burger unique to South Carolina is the South Carolina Chili Burger that has a beef-based chili, Duke’s mayonnaise and a pretzel bun.
“We talk to the local suppliers and restaurants to find something that will be successful in the area and can be special to those locations,” said Morgan.
Snyder said that he hopes that the store, which is located in Azalea Square, can hold future events to benefit MUSC, schools, churches and other local organizations.