- Wayback Burgers has partnered with Move Systems to develop its first ever mobile restaurant.
- The food cart is a cost-conscious way for the burger chain to enter Manhattan, which is known for its sky-high rent.
- If the company's New York City test works well, it will likely expand not only in the city, but to cities around the country with carts and full food truck services.
Wayback Burgers has found a solution to sky-high rent in New York City — a 5-by-10-foot food cart.
Since its first store opened up in 1991, Wayback Burgers has been steadily growing. The chain currently has more than 120 locations in 27 states, but it has yet to penetrate the New York City market. That is, until now.
The private burger chain has partnered with Move Systems, a food cart and truck manufacturer, to gain a foothold in the Big Apple.
"We do not have any Manhattan stores," John Eucalitto, president of Wayback Burgers, told CNBC. "Construction is expensive, rent is expensive and now we have an opportunity to have a presence there in a low-cost setting."
The cart is owned and operated by Move Systems, which has 27 Nathan's Famous Hot Dog carts in New York that it owns and operates. Neither Wayback nor Move would disclose the financial details of their partnership, but they hope to expand and make food carts a fixture in Wayback Burgers' portfolio.
The cart is reminiscent of the traditional food and hot dog carts found on the streets of New York City, but with a sleek, modern finish. It is powered by a battery-pack system, not a gasoline generator, and uses propane gas for cooking.
Jeffrey Hoffman, vice president of operational systems and general counsel at Move Systems, said a base model costs about $55,000.
The carts will sell Wayback's Signature Burger, which has two patties, as well as a single burger, a triple burger, French fries, potato chips and soft drinks.
Just don't expect to see any hot dogs at this food cart.
"Everyone has a hot dog cart," Wayback Burgers' Eucalitto said. He said that he expects the cart to serve between 200 to 300 customers each day.
"The goal is to see how much volume we can maximize out of a 5-by-10 foot cart," he said.
If the company's New York City test works well, Eucalitto expects the company will expand not only in New York City, but to other cities around the country with carts and full food truck services.
For now, the cart will rotate through a handful of locations in Manhattan, Eucalitto said. The company will post the cart's location on social media.