Meet BurgerFi, Where Facial Recognition Software Remembers Your Burger

An under $6 cheeseburger at BurgerFi on Mockingbird with American cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato and Burger Fi sauce.
An under $6 cheeseburger at BurgerFi on Mockingbird with American cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato and Burger Fi sauce. Nick Rallo
Inside the picked-clean husk of a Burger King, a new fast food joint has made its home. Unlike the ancient King, this clone from BurgerFi, a chain from Florida, has adapted to many of the advancements of modern human technologies.

There are aluminum and clean lines and naked wood panels. This is the kind of burger restaurant where a premium mayonnaise-based sauce shall only, repeat only, be referred to as "aioli." Above, a MacroAir fan — its wingspan almost as wide as the ceiling — chops the air with giant blades. It is well known that fans that could cool an entire industrial warehouse in seconds are essential for chili dog eating.

Ordering at BurgerFi is a do-it-yourself process by way of interactive touch screens. Facial recognition software, a trend starting to pop up at Dallas restaurants, can be used to capture your burger-loving smile so that BurgerFi can remember your order. Our burger engineers were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

Once you’ve entered BurgerFi, it's time to input your order through the touch screen. The process makes it breathtakingly easy to add chili to everything. The double cheeseburger at BurgerFi is labeled as the most popular. There’s also the CEO burger, a wagyu and brisket blend patty doubled up over candied-bacon jam, aged Swiss cheese and truffle aioli.

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Inside BurgerFi, where Instagram is as encouraged as chili.
Nick Rallo
Hoping to keep my meal less cumbersome than a CEO, I jab my finger at a single cheeseburger with BurgerFi sauce (a mayo-mustard blend), grilled onions, tomato, lettuce and pickle, opting out of using the facial recognition software.

The Cry + Fry is a paper carton of french fries crowned with three onion rings. It’s named, presumably, after the weeping that happens once you wake up from the sodium coma and realize it's the year 2035. Nutritious choices at BurgerFi appear to be something best left outside in the sizzling heat, so an order of the Cry + Fry is the way to go. Adding a Parmesan-salt blend and a garlic aioli is as frighteningly simple as hitting the “fast cash” button on an ATM. Done. The machine tells the kitchen to lash the sauce and seasoning all over my french fries. This is too much fun, modern world.

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The Cry + Fry with garlic aioli and a parmesan seasoning lashed over the fries.
Nick Rallo
The burger shows up coupled with the giant fries and rings basket. The cheeseburger is wearing wax paper pants, doing its best impression of a Shake Shack burger, and the bun is branded with the BurgerFi logo. The cheeseburger is fine, if humdrum on flavor. The patty (a “natural angus” and “top 1%” beef blend) is well done, and underseasoned. The fries could feature a better crunch, but the Mardi Gras-level party of seasonings is tasty. Shake Shack, which you’ll recognize as a natural competitor, does it better across the board upon first review.

Still, it’s better than Burger King. The ingredients are fresh, including the snappy, sharp pickles and the nicely curtained lettuce, and it’s fast and inexpensive. Returning for a Vienna beef hot dog with sauerkraut and mustard is now a priority. Another reason for a return visit is to smash my finger over the “chili” and “cheese” buttons a few more times. When you’ve got the technology, you’d better use it wisely.

BurgerFi, 5456 E. Mockingbird Lane
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Nick Rallo
Contact: Nick Rallo

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