How We Hacked SONIC and Started a Culinary Trend

FLM Harvest

The work we do at FLM Harvest comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s even a burger. Yes, I’m talking about your classic American cheeseburger, but with a twist. The blended burger concept, created in part by our client the Mushroom Council, uses a forward-thinking culinary technique called “The Blend,” which simply means blending finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat. The result: a more delicious, nutritious and sustainable burger.

For the past three years, we’ve touted the Blended Burger Project, a joint initiative by the Mushroom Council and the James Beard Foundation to challenge chefs across the nation to menu blended burgers. With more than 500 participating chefs, the blended burger has established itself as a trend among culinary leaders. But how could we put this technique into the hands of home cooks? Enter SONIC®.

When SONIC announced its plan to menu the first-ever blended burger served at a national fast food chain, we knew we had to jump on the opportunity.

Our goal was twofold:

  1. Literally drive traffic to SONIC Drive-Ins to try the mushroom-blended Signature Slinger
  2. Use the momentum of a fast food blended burger to inspire home cooks to create their own

Our solution was delicious: The SONIC Slinger Recipe Hack in partnership with Tasty from BuzzFeed. A video that would leverage the popularity of restaurant menu hacks, as well the vast reach of a leading digital influencer.

With the hack approved by both the Mushroom Council and SONIC, we headed to BuzzFeed Studios in sunny LA with Chef Scott Uehlein, SONIC’s VP of product innovation and development, aka “the food guy” and star of the video.

The day-long shoot was packed. Despite their fast-paced nature when you watch them online, Tasty videos take a lot of time to shoot. Each shot was carefully laid out, tested on screen, then, after a few practice moves, we’d shoot, then reshoot, then reshoot. Then onto the next shot and repeat. It was a detailed and fascinating process.

Things you’ll overhear at a Tasty video shoot: “Check out the brown on these buns.” “Too much oil!” “Not enough oil!” “Gotta get that perfect sizzle.” “Now that’s a drool-worthy cheese melt.”

And the final product? Well, you decide. Tasty? We think so.

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