Steak n Shake sees appetite for organic

Move over steakburger: You’re about to be joined on the Steak n Shake menu by a trendier version of yourself.

The Indianapolis-based burger chain won approval in late March from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the “organic signature steakburger.”

Steak n Shake’s federal filing features a mock menu depicting the new option, complete with a “USDA Organic” stamp and a $6.99 price, right below its popular “original double cheese and fries” combination.

Burger slingers outside the fast-food segment slowly have gravitated toward higher-end beef, so it only makes sense for Steak n Shake to follow suit, said Steve Delaney, a retail and restaurant broker at Sitehawk Retail Real Estate.

“Steak n Shake has always been perceived as a little better than typical fast food, so this plays to who they are,” he said.

It wasn’t clear when the organic burger will be available. Steak n Shake representatives did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The chain last year introduced a menu featuring about 20 items all priced under $4, including four styles of foot-long hot dogs, a taco salad, chili and seven hamburger variations.

Greg Willman, a former Steak n Shake franchisee who now operates eight Qdoba restaurants in Indiana, is intrigued.

“I’m wondering how this will fit into [Steak n Shake’s] $3.99 pricing model.”•

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