Fast Food Takes On Gourmet Burgers

Thanks to the high-end burger joints like Umami Burger and Shake Shack, McDonald's and Wendy's are stepping up their game. The Financial Times reports that more fast food chains are focusing on quality ingredients.

A recent restaurant survey found that specialty burger restaurants increased 16.8 percent in 2010, while bigger chains stalled. Meanwhile, McDonald's has Angus beef burgers, Wendy's has an eight-ounce one (plus their sea salt fries), and Burger King debuted a California Whopper with guac (the HuffPo verdict is not good).

Last year, 40 percent of consumers ate at a premium burger joint once a month, double the amount in 2009.

Will fast food places get more business this way? Or will it just be another gimmick that people (and Thomas Keller) find tiring? Either way, none of these newbies will compare to a Double-Double Animal-Style.

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.