Elevation Burger is a study of contrasts. A recent Facebook promotion playfully pitted “beefies” against “veggies,” with the winner to get free burgers (beef or veggie) for a year. To help reach its goal of 20 new units this year, the better-burger chain tapped Rick Altizer, a former regional vice president and general manager for McDonald’s, to be CEO this spring, when founder Hans Hess slid over to board chairman—at the tender age of 42. Don’t mistake its organic ingredients for low calorie. On the menu: a 10-patty burger that clocks in at 1,950 calories.​

LocationArlington, Va.
2013 Systemwide Sales$30,000,000*
% Change in Sales25.0%
2013 U.S. Units32
% Change in Units10.3%
2013 Average Unit Volume$980,000*
% Change in AUV2.1%
Future 50 Year2014