Within the plane services industry exists the term “hundred-dollar hamburger,” used as a reason or excuse that general aviation pilots may use to fly. A $100 hamburger trip will typically involve flying a short distance, usually less than two hours, to eat at an airport restaurant, and then turning around and flying home. When the phrase was originally coined, the $100 referred to the approximate cost of airplane rental, often a Cessna 172, for the time it took to fly round-trip to a nearby airport.
As the term become more recognized and widely used among the aviation community, a website of the same name launched in February of 1996. The site has been operated continuously ever since, growing into a cultural phenomenon far surpassing its intended target market.
The $100 Hamburger site now has nearly half a million visits per month, covering more than 1,600 restaurants around the world. The field editorial staff is in constant communication with aviation restaurants, fixed-base operators, and airport managers through phone calls and in-person visits, all of which help to revise and verify their information. In addition, these findings are also supplemented by first-hand pilot reports submitted by their subscribers.
The site is currently a Subscriber Only platform, as it is an expensive endeavor to collect, edit, and host all of the resources they provide. That being said, $100 Hamburger is home to more than 50,000 recreational flyers.
The site is pure in its purpose: it is simply a place for pilots to notify fellow pilots about the presence and quality of aviation-friendly restaurants. These establishments may range from high-dollar, uptown-style cafes to down-home family spots, but whatever the ambience, each has been approved and recommended by an individual with a job in aviation.
Be sure to visit the $100 Hamburger site for yourself, and discover a new dinner destination near you! The 2016 printed issue (also available on the site) of the $100 Hamburger will feature an Epps Aviation ad, in addition to a listing of Pat Epps’ 57th Fighter Group Restaurant at PDK. Go for a burger, the Sunday brunch, and much more!