Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Amherst Burgers bucking the odds

What it takes to run an Amherst business

Tucked between Miss Saigon and Greenfields Saving Bank you’ll find the bright orange chairs and neon signs of Amherst Burger Company. With a few new businesses popping up in downtown Amherst, it begs the question-, “how does one achieve a loyal base?” This question applies to the customer fan base, as well as employee fan base. The Amherst Burger Company (ABC), knows firsthand how to deal with this issue, and through promotional stunts, good management and community engagement it has pulled off clientele and employee satisfaction rates that have made the business busier than ever.

Community Outreach

Getting involved is a crucial aspect of opening any business. Thursday, Sept. 21, marked the 10th annual Downtown Amherst Block Party and ABC made its presence known, offering deals to entice locals to try its food for the first time; from a $10 special that included a burger, fries and a drink, to $1 ice cream cones and $3 house-made “Nancy Jane’s Lemonade.” It also set out an arts and crafts table for local children. The kids were able to use crayons and other supplies to make pictures of burgers and more, with a grand prize of $50 going to the winner of the coloring contest.

The following Saturday, Sept. 23, Amherst showcased one of its farmers markets downtown. ABC donated to local ukulele band “Ukes for Ukraine” and the band played a jingle about the company to post on its social media. ABC also frequently hands out flyers to lure in residents of the area.

Kitchen Staffer Madison Kimball said one of her favorite ways the company interacts with the community is that “everyone who works here gets to go to the farms we source from and take tours as well as meet the animals.”

Sample advertisement of Amherst Burger Company’s block party promotion. Posted on September 20th, 2023 by @amherstburgerco
Sample advertisement of Amherst Burger Company’s late-night menu promotion. Posted outside the restaurant.


Customer Gratification

Members of the staff say that they want the restaurant to be a place where people of all ages and backgrounds feel comfortable eating and relaxing. They strive for it to be a welcoming environment. In order for this to happen, they’ve had to use tactics to drive their sales up and keep consumers happy. They have implemented many methods for doing so including their late night services and brunches. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday residents who are 18+ can come in and enjoy food from 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. They offer signature cocktails as well as $3 Jello shots in a nightlife-like atmosphere. On Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. they have brunch offerings including waffles and a variety of breakfast burgers. They say these practices contribute to customer contentment and keep them coming back.


Sample advertisement of the Downtown Amherst Block Party. Posted on August 25th, 2023 by @amherstdowntown

Company Morale

It’s important to make a work environment a place where employees can thrive. Specifically in college towns, college students tend to filter in and out of part-time jobs, so businesses typically make sure student employees working for the company want to stay there for as long as their college career allows. Student and employee Caitlin Murray who serves in several different positions for ABC calls it a positive environment.

“It’s one of the few places I’ve worked where there’s been no issues between coworkers, which is really good,” Murray said. “Our manager, Tony, sets a really high standard for all of our new hires, so everyone coming in is trained very well.”

Tony Ferrari serves as ABC’s General Manager. Ferrari has experience across 5 different restaurants in New York and Miami. He also has a background in the operational consulting and food service design fields which he’s been a part of for over a decade.

Getting Acquainted

Anyone interested in getting to know new local businesses have many opportunities to do so. The downtown Amherst Instagram @amherstdowntown regularly posts events and updates about downtown and things that are happening in the community. They are currently preparing for MERRY MAPLE Friday on Dec. 1. There are also farmers markets every Saturday from now until Nov. 18 at the Amherst Town Commons from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Katie Katz can be reached at [email protected]

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