At Smashburger we are committed to our mission of being the best burger restaurant for the next generation. We are constantly listening to our consumer needs and desires, and our top priority is catering to the values of our consumer base. This includes sourcing high-quality ingredients that are raised responsibly and preparing them using classic cooking techniques.We also know there is growing interest from consumers about the food they eat including assurances that farm animals raised for food are humanely treated, which includes looking at additional steps to how chickens are raised. We encourage industry research that considers slower growing breeds and improved living conditions with increased space and natural light. While we have to be mindful of the potentially significant costs associated with some of these changes and the impact that could have on our business and our customers, we believe that these types of changes may lead to a better quality of life for chickens and possibly a better product served to our customers.
Because Smashburger is not a significant player in the purchase of chickens relative to other competitors, we know it will take a holistic approach with action from the broader restaurant industry and market participants. We are encouraged by the progress being made to identify best practices and new methods for humanely raising chickens that are economical and sustainable.
To that end, we are looking forward to working with experts in the areas of animal wellbeing as well as growers, suppliers, our competitors and other market participants to identify science-based, cost-effective solutions that can improve broiler conditions. As part of this ongoing effort by the food production and restaurant industries, we anticipate a number of accomplishments across food production and restaurant industries by 2024, including:
- Using new breeds of slower growing chickens
- Providing chickens with more space and better living conditions that include litter and natural lighting
- Verifying that birds are rendered completely unconscious using multistep controlled atmospheric stunning during the harvesting process
We expect that progress in these areas are and will be in alignment with initiatives being undertaken by the Global Animal Partnership’s Broiler Chickens Standards, and we look forward to updates as important achievements are made in the area of animal welfare for chickens and other farm animals raised for food.