Bun time! Grand Ronde Station burger contest proves popular

05.12.2017 Brent Merrill People, Events, Tribal Employees

The responses to Grand Ronde Station General Manager Lisa Nelson’s recent Build a Burger Contest were far more numerous than she ever anticipated when she thought of the idea.

“Oh my God! It was fabulous,” Nelson said. “I probably had 75 or more responses. It was huge. Within 10 minutes of having sent out that e-mail they (suggestions) started rolling in and they just kept rolling in for days. It was cool.”

Tina Leno’s suggestion of a mushroom burger with onion rings, Swiss cheese and an egg was chosen from among the entries as were two suggestions by Tiffany Mercier, who suggested a mac and cheese burger and a pulled pork cheeseburger with crispy onions.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Leno, who works as a medical receptionist in the Tribe’s Health & Wellness Center. “I watch the Food Channel all the time. There was a lot of people on the Food Network that liked that one.”

Nelson said she received input from her staff on the final decision of which burger ideas would be added to the menu. She said the range of ideas went from a bacon cheeseburger with an egg on top to some really hot, spicy suggestions.

In the end, the winners were some classic options inspired by everyone’s mutual interest in popular cooking shows on television.

“I talked to some of the crew and then I had to take into account what I can get as far as my delivery people,” Nelson said. “We talked about it and then narrowed it down, and then I talked to my vendors to see what I could get.”

Nelson said she watches shows on the Food Network like “Chopped” and “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and she had previously seen some of the burgers selected on those shows.

Nelson said the main reason for choosing the winning selections was because they seemed like they would taste good.

“They just sounded amazing,” Nelson said.  

Nelson said the new burgers have already started selling and that the new menus reflecting the additional burger options will be arriving soon.

Nelson said that based on the great response she received, she is planning on seeking burger suggestions again in the future.

“I was excited about all the responses I got,” Nelson said. “We got way more than we thought we would. What’s better than having people who already eat here helping out with some of the menu items?”

The winners received gift certificates for free hamburgers at Grand Ronde Station.