Sure, Melbourne's flush with burger joints but how many of them need crowd control? The queues stretched out the door and down Elizabeth Street last week as Queensland burger shack Betty's Burgers flipped its first Victorian patties.
Boss man and entrepreneur David Hales is a Tasmanian original. He once owned a bunch of restaurants in Hobart, including Cargo Pizza Bar, the Telegraph Hotel and the Observatory. He packed it all in a few years ago and moved up to Noosa to "start something small", which has grown into a chain of three Queensland burger shops with three Queensland locations, a new Melbourne outlet and designs on Darling Harbour.
It's a similar system to New York-based Shake Shack: order burgers, fries and sides (no combo deals) from a central counter then hope like hell you find a spot to sit before your buzzer goes off (no more than seven minutes, Hales says).
The Molly Ringwald-pink menu starts at $10 for the basic beef, tomato, lettuce and cheese version and tops out at $16 for the double beef and mushroom combo – add onions rings and Betty's special sauce and you're parting with the best part of a lobster.
Go large and top it all off with a "concrete"; a cup of frozen custard mixed with your choice of added sugar (think cookie dough, brownies and Maltesers) that'll have your dentist rubbing his hands together in delight.
Open daily 10am-10pm.
97 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, 03 9642 5823, bettysburgers.com.au