Temecula burger lovers rejoice: an even bigger burger has come to town.
The main attraction at Fatburger, which was slated to officially opened its doors at 10 a.m. Friday at 40573 Margarita Road, is the XXXL, a 24-ounce burger.
“I thought there was a need in this area for a good burger,” said 36-year-old Ray Malik, who co-owns the Fatburger franchise with wife, Nargis Rashid. “It is not that Temecula doesn’t have In-N-Out or Fives Guys; this is a whole different thing. It’s the size of the burger, nobody has the size of burgers we have."
If the 24-ouncer is too much, that’s OK. The burgers range in size from 2.5 ounces on up for the lighter eaters. The menu of the Los Angeles-founded chain also consists of turkey and veggie burgers. There are also milkshakes, homemade onion rings, chili fat cheese fries and egg sandwiches with bacon or sausage.
Employee Flavia Merida, 27, of Lake Elsinore, has already decided on her favorite menu item.
“The best thing that I like from Fatburger is the chicken sandwich with guacamole, jalapenos, lettuce, tomato, onions and mayo,” said Merida, who until she was hired at Fatburger had been out of work for at least a year.
About 20 employees, including a manager, found work at the store Malik began construction on last summer. The employees have been spending the last several days in training.
The Temecula location marks the second for Malik. After he graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 1999, Malik said he felt destined to become an entrepreneur. He purchased a gas station, which he ran for about five years. He then had a short stint in the mortgage business until the economy tanked.
In 2007, he purchased a Fatburger location near University Avenue and Highway 60 in Riverside. He quickly became a believer in the product that got its start in 1952, and wants to grow with the company. A Corona resident, he plans to open at least one or two more Fatburgers in the Inland Empire.
“This is the first store I am opening from scratch,” said Malik, who has two children, 5 and 3, to support. “The next step will be another one and then another one.”
Operating hours at Fatburger in Temecula are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 40573 Margarita Road, next to Chipotle and Ryan Bros. Coffee near The Promenade.
Customers who stopped by prior to the Friday opening were given “fatchecks” for free food, Malik said. Now they can redeem those coupons.
“I’ve been having at least 30 to 40 people a day stop by to eat,” Malik said. “So I gave them fatchecks. I’ve handed out at least 250 of them. I have to take care of my customers. It took awhile to open because everything needs to be in order. We wanted everything we make to come to perfection.”