Many burger joints have monthly specials; some even push it to weekly. But the 100-seat LBOE in Memphis is one of the few that features a new burger daily, including weekends. Last Sunday it was the Rise-n-Shine burger: an 8-oz. beef/spicy sausage blend patty topped with Havarti cheese, Canadian bacon and a fried egg on a toasted croissant bun. BurgerBusiness.com spoke with Tommy Shive, general manager at LBOE [Last Burger on Earth].
I’m impressed that you’ve got a new special out front every day. Who’s in charge of dreaming them up?
That would be me.
You’ve been open about a year. Have you done a daily special all along?
No, we didn’t at first. We started off with about 10 burgers on the menu and then maybe a month in we began doing a Burger of the Day. It keeps us from having the same menu all the time.
What’s your inspiration?
It’s whatever ingredients we have on hand, really. I’ll brainstorm with the customers and they’ll say you should try this or try that. I’ve got a list of ideas I haven’t done yet. It’s still fun to do.
Really the hardest thing is having to name them all.
How many daily specials do you sell in an average day?
Maybe 15 to 20. It depends on what it is. There are some we do that people will come in for when we put them on the menu. We do a turkey burger special every Thursday.
And every month we offer what we call the Luther Burger. We offer that on the last Sunday of each month. It’s got a maple-bacon glazed doughnut from [local] Gibson’s Donuts on the bottom, a [8-oz.] beef and hot-sausage blend patty, American cheese and a fried egg with a maple-bacon doughnut on top [for $10.95].
Do you offer alternatives to beef?
You can order any burger with a beef, turkey or a [black bean] veggie patty. It’s probably 85% to 90% beef orders.
It’s interesting that you did turkey and not chicken.
Yep. We decided to go with a 90/10 turkey patty and people tell us it’s the best turkey burger they’ve ever had.
Do you have any chicken on your menu?
We have chicken nuggets for kids.
Are you happy with the menu or are you looking to make changes?
As I say we had just 10 burgers when we first started and now we have about 17 variations. Every three months or so we’ll redo the menu and bring some new burgers on. I’ll keep the ones that always sell: the bacon-cheese burger; the Mushroom Melt with mushrooms and Havarti cheese.
Last time I added the Fatty Melt [white and yellow American cheese, hardwood-smoked bacon, lettuce tomato, shredded lettuce and dill pickle between two grilled cheese buns] and the All-American [a classic cheeseburger with sautéed onion and fry sauce].
What’s the average check?
About $19 to $20. We’re always looking to increase the check, of course.
You have a full-service bar but are you doing mostly beer?
Mostly beer. We have nine taps: seven of them are local breweries and then a Lagunitas IPA and Sam Adams Seasonal. The locals now are from Ghost River Brewing, Wiseacre and Memphis Made. We’ll rotate the local brews: I try to add some darker beers for the winter; go lighter in the summer.
Are you thinking about a second LBOE location?
Well, we have looked at some locations. I don’t know how soon it might be, though.
Would it most likely be another Memphis location or could it be in another market?
Really it could be either.