NuWay plans new way to sell its burgers

Chris Stong of NuWay holds one of the chain's a crumbly burgers and the new shipping container that will send the burgers around the country.

WICHITA — As NuWay Facebook (“NuWay Burgers”) followers have already gleefully discovered, the Wichita chain is in the process of preparing to ship its crumbly burgers nationally.

“Most everything is in place,” says director of operations Chris Stong. “We’re hoping to roll this out before Thanksgiving,”

He says there have been a number of tests to see how the plan might work.

First, he and his family ordered other frozen shipped food, such as Omaha Steaks and Chicago deep-dish pizza.

“We were just trying to see how others did it,” Stong says. “We’ve just never had the ability to do it.”

The chain settled on some Styrofoam containers that fit in a box with dry ice, which led to the next test. How do the frozen patties hold up in shipping?

“It seems to work pretty well,” Stong says.

He says the idea for shipping came from customers, who for years have been calling to order frozen patties.

“After several years, we finally go the hint: Hey, people like this.”

So the chain complied.

“All the stores keep a couple dozen available for anybody to come in and buy,” Stong says.

Now, though, he says out-of-towners won’t have to carry frozen orders home with them, or Wichitans traveling elsewhere won’t have to take hamburgers along since anyone will be able to order them.

“We’re going to try to do everything second-day ground,” Stong says.

On the chain’s website, customers soon will be able to plug in their zip codes to see shipping rates and complete orders.

“It’s a good substitute for somebody who hasn’t had a NuWay in a long time,” Stong says. “They’re not as good as the ones in the store, I have to be honest.”

Stong says he won’t conduct a big marketing campaign for the shipping.

“Hopefully, it’ll just spread through word of mouth with all our customers who are no longer living here,” he says. “I don’t think we’re going to be taking out any ads on the Super Bowl.”

Stong says the chain soon will attach flyers about shipping with all restaurant receipts.

“When people come in town for the holidays, it’ll just be a little reminder.”