Bolt Burgers

Case Study in Design

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Bolt Burgers was the brainchild of a consortium of area eye doctors, led by Mike Davidson O.D, himself an experienced retail entrepreneur. We started work in November 2011. At this time, the burger market was very saturated and very competitive. Trying to define a better burger concept when most of the competitors all had a great burger. We had to start from scratch, select a new location, developing recipes, spices, sauces etc. Research and development were provided for a comprehensive platform designed to address the scale and complexity of the industry at that time, which lead to the success of the new brand. Clients needed to partner with a restaurant developer, to take charge of the concept development through operations and opening.

Existing Conditions

Located in a new upscale residential condo development in the Mass. Ave. corridor area. Bolt will occupy a 79-seat inside and 52 seats outdoor patio. A vanilla box with 3280 square feet and 75 days to complete the project, after the concept was developed. Had to interview and hire staffing and General Manager.

Program Objectives

To develop a new concept that would be a standout and unique in a very saturated and competitive burger market. Using chef driven recipes, with a combination of high tech for production and ordering. First in the DC market to use Handheld POS systems, and using clamshell grill equipment in back of the house.


  • Site selection, lease review and negotiations.
  • Branding, naming and trademark, design logo. Creating all new recipes, plat costing.
  • Menu design, Develop a business plan.
  • Architectural, Interior Design, Food Service, MEP engineering drawings for permits, Cost Analysis, Bidding, Construction management, Permit expediting, operations manuals, operations set up. Purchasing of all items in the restaurant. Obtain liquor license.
  • Training and staffing for over 55 employees. Maintain a board seat and ownership for managing the restaurant.


Opening of Bolt Burgers, December 2013. The restaurant opening serving very sophisticated burgers, and spiked smoothies. Handheld ordering systems, and self-service POS.

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