A glance at a few of the burger chains in the D.C. area and across the nation that have expanded in recent years, and their plans for future expansion:
Elevation Burger: First location opened in 2005 in Falls Church strip mall. Opened eighth location in Potomac, Md., last month. Expects to have 15 to 20 locations open by the end of the year, with up to 100 in the next few years. Also opening five stores in Kuwait.
Five Guys: Opened first store in Arlington in 1986. Operated five northern Virginia locations through 2001. Expanded with franchise agreements through Mid-Atlantic region beginning in 2002. Expanded on a national scale beginning in 2008 and now has more than 600 locations.
Smashburger: Opened first store in 2007 in Colorado and expanded quickly, with 70 current locations. Expects to have 100 by the end of 2010, and add 100 to 150 stores annually for the next two or three years.
BGR — The Burger Joint: Opened first store in Bethesda, Md., in 2008. Now has four locations in the metro D.C. area. Founder Mark Bucher has plans to expand slowly in the greater D.C. region.
Mooyah: Opened first location in Plano, Tex., in 2007. Now has more than a dozen locations in Texas. Company is expecting to double number of stores in 2010 and has plans to expand outside the state.
Meatheads Burgers and Fries: Opened first store in Bloomington, Ill., in 2007. Now has four locations in Illinois. Plans to expand to roughly 25 locations in the Chicago area in the next two to three years.
Shake Shack: Began in 2002 as a New York City hot dog cart and opened its first burger restaurant in 2004. Now has four locations in New York City and Miami Beach and expects to have seven by the end of the year.
Bobby’s Burger Palace: Opened first restaurant in 2008 on Long Island. Five locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York. Recently announced plans to expand into the Washington, D.C. market.