OU812: Austin Burger Joint Plates
Something Special

A license plate design approved yesterday by the Department of Motor Vehicles could pave the way for tags adorned with sliced brisket and cheese enchiladas.

Mighty Fine Burgers, a restaurant with three Austin-area outlets, is the first for-profit food business to issue a novelty plate through Texas' specialty plate vendor. The plate features a hamburger and the words "Mighty Fine Burgers."

"We just kind of want to gain recognition in the community," says Allison Dreiband, a spokesperson for the three-year old mini-chain. "We're going to try to get our burgers floating around Austin."

Re/Max last year became the first corporate entity to sign on with My Plates. The brokerage firm no doubt assumed its 5,000 agents statewide would be eager to brand their cars with the plates.

But it's less clear why customers who don't own a piece of the Mighty Fine empire would shell out extra money to advertise the burger joint.

"Certainly, Austin is very loyal to mom and pop shops," Texas Department of Motor Vehicles spokesperson Kim Sue Lia Perkes theorizes, adding: "I have no clue how it will do."

Dreiband says the restaurant's planning to promote the plates, but hasn't yet worked out all the details. She thinks the plates will resonate with Mighty Fine's fans, and predicts other restaurants won't be able to resist slapping their logos on cars.

"Maybe they'll follow suit when they see all these Mighty Fine plates," she says.

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