Beginning Dec 5, 2023
When there are tons of franchise chains operating out of North America, much less the world, there are tons to choose from and Omar Mouallem’s thinks it’s best to examine The Lebanese Burger Mafia. Here, he intends to find out why people from his country are the owners and operators of each Burger Baron operation, and from there, he connects the dots to answer the age-old question: who owns this franchise now?
Here, the families who still operate these businesses are happy with what they built. For one filmmaker who says he’s the heir to the this hamburger franchise, the big question is does he have full rights to this name when he truly takes over? In what hs explores is not only eye opening but also will whet some appetites!
Here, the answers he finds pretty much hint there’s nothing to be insecure about. He not only looks at the chain’s early days from being a one off fast food operation that has grown beyond its britches. It was born under the entrepreneurship of Jack McDonnell coming to Canada in the hopes of building a new enterprise to rival that of McDonald’s. To expand the operation, he hired relatives to run the many diners across the country, but when he didn’t have any more to depend on, it became a franchise. But pretty soon, that operation collapsed under the weight of growing too fast, and some years later, Rudy Kemaldean “saved it.”
That’s where the question of who owns what came into question. Since the name was orphaned, and it was hard to find McDonnell, just who has the legal rights got lost to time and paperwork. The trail Mouallem found is considered covered in mud. As for whom he managed to interview, what’s revealed is not only fascinating but also suspect.
It’s tough to say if either of these former figureheads are willing to shake hands and share the spotlight or shake hands. And as for whom this filmmaker feels closer to, it’s fairly easy to see.
What makes this documentary engaging is his goal to find the secret recipe to the sauce used in the making of the mushroom burger. It’s like wanting to capture the goose who lays the golden egg. If the reveal is true, but that depends on the burger joint’s operator–whether they stay true to it or each operation varies it up. I’ll have to put that to the test though, and after making a version at home by kicking it up a notch with the wild seasonal fungi, I will report back as soon as I can!
5 Stars out of 5