Burgerology Builds Better Burgers, Expanding Across LI and Beyond
On a recent day, two families of five walked past the front door of Burgerology in Farmingdale with the mathematical symbol “pi” written in big, bold letters above and took their seats at tables. A few young couples sat near another wall, with Albert Einstein’s picture nearby. And an older couple sat at the bar.
Burgerology has been building a clientele of nearly all ages, mixing a full bar, shakes, burgers with a twist. At a time when many restaurants have been reeling, the company took advantage of downtime to expand.
The business has grown to 10 restaurants and is expanding beyond this region, recently opening in the UBS Arena, and it just launched a business shipping burgers in the mail.
With a partner, the owners started by opening the New York Burger bar in Massapequa in 2015, later buying out the partner.
They in 2017 opened Burgerology, a family-friendly concept that also includes a bar, with restaurants in Rockville Centre, Huntington, Astoria, Patchogue, Syosset, Stony Brook, Midtown Manhattan, Farmingdale and UBS Arena.
“Nothing is signed, sealed and delivered yet, but we have three locations in the works, two in Long Island and one out of state,” said John Galatoulas, CEO of the Bellmore-based company. “Our plan right now is to corporately own all the stores, but franchising isn’t out of the realm.”
Burgerology is part of what one might call a better burger boom, as higher-end burger locations from Smashburger to Black Label and Prime Burger Bar open.
“Our point of difference is the quality of ingredients we use, especially the meat,” Galatoulas said. “We use USDA Prime beef, the top beef sourced around the country.
Restaurants like Smith & Wollensky and Peter Luger, he said, use this type of top quality USDA Prime beef.
“We use beef you would get in a steakhouse and grind them into burgers,” Galatoulas added. “Our buns and meat come in six days a week. We make fries daily.”
They offer 30 sauces, including the 25 they make, burgers from their classic at around $15.95, and a bevy of other options as well as wild milk shakes.
John’s father Eddie Galatoulas grew up in the restaurant business: Their grandfather owned coffee shops and a pizzeria in Manhattan. Eddie went on to restaurant equipment, pushcarts, and coffee trucks.
Eddie and Georgia Galatoulas partnered with someone they later bought out to launch New York Burger Bar and then sought a new concept.
“We listed names with ‘burger,’” Galatoulas said. “After a month, we ended up with Burgerology. We thought the name would be trademarked and it wasn’t.”
They launched Burgerology, offering burgers from the Einstein to the Henry Ford, scrawling math formulas on walls and carrying the theme into cocktails served in chemistry flasks and beakers. “Once we picked the name, we decided to have fun with it,” Galatoulas said.
The company was a family business from the beginning. “I started in the kitchen. My sister Maria (now a vice president) started in the front of the house,” he added. “We learned from the bottom up.”
Burgerology today attracts a wide range of customers. “That’s why Burgerology has been such a success,” Galatoulas said. “We cater to everybody. We learned from New York Burger Bar that was more of a bar.”
They regularly refresh their menu, about a month ago launching a brunch with skillets, frittatas, eggs Benedict, steak and eggs, and chicken and waffles. “We are also launching a summer seafood menu in our Patchogue location,” Galatoulas said.
They have a 5,000-square-foot beer garden in Patchogue where they are launching Louisiana-style Cajun crabs, lobster, crab legs, shrimp, po’ boys, calamari, and some raw bar options.
“They’re [the restaurants are] not all identical in size,” Galatoulas added, noting Rockville Centre seats 80, while Patchogue seats 300.
He said it’s definitely more difficult than in the past to find new staff. “I think we’re extremely lucky that the core group of staff we have has been with us almost since Day One,” Galatoulas added.
They recently signed a partnership as the official burger of the New York Islanders, opening in the UBS Arena. “Some people haven’t seen it. This is bringing light to it,” Galatoulas said. “And then there are a lot of people going to the games who are like, ‘Oh, Burgerology. I’ve been to the one here and there.’”
They recently launched an e-commerce program, offering frozen burgers shipped nationwide with next-day shipping on Long Island and two to three days elsewhere. And they’re looking at Florida as well as refreshing menus at existing restaurants.
“The burger business is highly competitive, but it’s good. It’s a fun business,” Galatoulas said. “People ate burgers years ago. They will eat them forever. As long as we constantly evolve our menu, every quarter changing our drink book, we will keep it going.”
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