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Spotting the next Chipotle: 10 restaurants to watch

Lounge Burger

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10. Burger Lounge

What sets it apart: No animal feed here: each Burger Lounge burger is made from 100 percent American grass-fed beef that's sourced from two family ranchers. The restaurant also offers quinoa veggie burgers and turkey burgers, along with salads and shakes.

Locations: 12 locations

Expansion plans: A 13th location is set to open early next month in Los Angeles. The company plans to expand into Orange Country, Calif., soon while continuing to look for locations in San Diego and Los Angeles. During the next few years, growth will pick up as the chain tries to avoid the pitfalls of expanding too rapidly, CEO J. Dean Loring said via email.

"The restaurant industry is littered (with) casualties of small brands that grew too fast. It's like buying stocks at the peak of a market. People continue to do it, their memories are short," Loring added.

Investors: The company has outside private equity partners.

Burger Lounge