Specializing in quick burgers and “good for you” eats until 3 a.m., b.good plans to open its doors as Harvard Square’s newest restaurant within three weeks.
Keeping true to its slogan, “real.food.fast,” this counter-style restaurant will feature a small menu that aims to be a healthier version of traditional fast food.
“While our food itself might not be the healthiest out there, given that we serve burgers, fries, and hot chicken sandwiches, it is made by using the best ingredients,” co-owner Anthony Ackil ’99 said. B.good’s ingredients include freshly-ground lean hamburger meat, made-from-scratch veggie burgers, and a variety of whole grain options.
The menu will mainly feature b.good’s signature hamburger and veggie burgers. Other items will include salads, hot and cold sandwiches, milkshakes, and a limited number of dinner entrees. Since b.good intends to stay open as a late night eatery, the menu also features a variety of snack side orders, such as baked pita chips and sesame noodles.
B.good’s Dunster Street location is the restaurant’s first expansion site, though it is looking to add more locations in the Boston area this year. The original b.good has been open for less than two years and is located in Boston’s financial district.
The independently run restaurant is the product of a life long friendship. Ackil and co-owner Jon J. Olinto made plans to start their own businesses when they first met in the fifth grade.
Ackil and Olinto maintained their friendship into adulthood, but at times, it appeared their dream of owning a business might not materialize. After graduation, Ackil put his independent business hopes aside to start a career in business consulting.
“It turned out that I really hated consulting,” Ackil said. “I didn’t like working in a cubicle and not being my own boss or being able to make anything out of a company.”
Four years ago the pair decided to start their own restaurant. Ackil and Olinto’s main source of inspiration for b.good was the food they ate while growing up.
“Jon would come over for dinner a lot when we were younger and my Uncle Faris would cook our meals everyday,” said Ackil, who was a resident of Quincy House and a member of both the football and wrestling teams while at Harvard.
“Uncle Faris knew we were athletes and would take the time to make us high quality food to help our performance.”
Ackil and Olinto designed b.good’s menu with the food of Uncle Faris in mind, and the now eighty year old Faris Ackil is a regular at the restaurant and a large part of b.good’s marketing campaign.
B.good will be another addition to several fast food restaurants in Harvard Square. In close proximity to b.good are The Wrap, which specializes in burritos and smoothies, and Felipe’s Tacqueria, the owner of which is also currently constructing a nearby fast food diner.
CEO and co-founder of The Wrap, John Pepper, said he is not concerned by any loss in market share to b.good.
“We don’t have any major concern over it at this time. Harvard Square is one of the best places in Massachusetts, and even the country, to do business,” Pepper said.
Ackil is also not worried by the potential level of competition with similar fast food restaurants.
“I think our product will speak for itself and that the biggest thing we have going for us is real health,” Ackil said. “I think we do a really good job, and other restaurants don’t take the time do to what we do.”
In order to initially attract customers, b.good has planned several contests and promotions. It will have a contest exclusively for Harvard students asking them to tell b.good why they will be its best customer. The winner will get free food for the year.
“We are really excited to see our restaurant grow and expand to such an exciting location,” Ackil said.