Elevation Burger doesn’t just offer grass-fed beef. It’s also halal.
The Arlington-based burger chain, which has a prominent location in the Shoppes at Arts District Hyattsville, has quietly offered beef which is certified to meet Muslim standards of preparation for several years.
Other than a small sticker which individual operators can choose to put on their doors, the chain doesn’t make as much hay, so to speak, out of its certification as it does with the giant in-store posters that discuss the virtues of grass-fed beef.
That’s intentional, said managing partner Michael Berger (an aptronym, if ever there was one.) He said that observant Muslims tend to seek out information about halal meat online and spread the news by word of mouth.
“A customer one time must have come into the restaurant and asked a staff member about it,” he said. “A minor post appeared (on a Muslim blog) and all of a sudden it went viral. We were getting calls at all of our restaurants asking about this and we had an influx of Muslim men and women coming in.”
The company decided to make the stickers available about a year and a half ago, using a soft cursive Arabic font and encouraging operators to post them on the lower corner of the door, where Muslim customers would be used to checking. The Hyattsville restaurant went further than most, posting its sticker in a prominent spot near the door handle, perhaps due to the county’s Muslim population.
The halal designation has helped with Elevation’s overseas expansion, since it now has 10 restaurants in the Middle East, including Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. But Berger said it came about because the chain was already looking into the best ways of raising and slaughtering beef.
“Really, when you come down to it, it’s a humane slaughtering practice,” he said.
In unrelated news, Berger confirmed that Elevation Burger will be testing out a new organic chicken burger at Hyattsville and several other locations starting next month.