Burger Lounge is an American fast casual restaurant chain that specializes in hamburgers made from American grass-fed beef, salads, shakes, French fries and onion rings. Burger Lounge is headquartered in San Diego, California. In 2007, J. Dean Loring and Michael Gilligan founded the company in La Jolla, California. J. Dean Loring is the President and CEO of Burger Lounge.
J. Dean Loring, the son of a butcher, opened three restaurants prior to founding Burger Lounge. Loring established Stars Hamburgers, in Northern California's Humboldt County, in 1989. In 2007, he partnered with Michael Gillian, a bank CFO, to open the first Burger Lounge in La Jolla, California. Burger Lounge partnered with Karp Reilly, a private equity firm based in Connecticut, in 2011. In 2012, Forbes travel guide included Burger Lounge in its list of "America's 10 Best Burgers". Fastcasual.com ranked the restaurant 21st on its list of "Top 100 Movers and Shakers" in 2012.
In April 2013, Burger Lounge opened a second location, in North County, part of San Diego, California. That year, the restaurant opened seven locations in San Diego and four in the Los Angeles area.LA Weekly named the restaurant "Best New Restaurant" in 2013. The restaurant was also voted "Best Burger" by San Diego Magazine in 2014. The restaurant previously received the title in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012. In 2014, the restaurant group had 13 locations.
Burger Lounge serves hamburgers made from grass-fed beef. The meat is sourced from two ranches. The menu also includes organic quinoa veggie burgers, free-range turkey burgers, chicken tenders (referred to as "Chicken Digglers"), Albacore tuna sandwiches, salads, French fries, onion rings and shakes. The restaurant uses locally sourced, organic, farm-raised, regional and seasonal ingredients.
The restaurants' food waste is composted, post-industrial packaging is biodegradable, and used cooking oil converted to biofuel is used to power its delivery vehicles. In July 2012, the restaurant donated proceeds from sales to local student-run community-supported agriculture (CSA) and school gardening programs. Burger Lounge uses recyclable products and is green certified.