It was the morning of November 2nd. Some of MarketBeat’s team members were working at our downtown office, getting ready for that week’s staff meeting. Just as our meeting was about to start, a curious email came in from Downtown Sioux Falls, Inc. (DTSF).

Here’s what the email said:

The time has come to start planning Burger Battle 2021! Right now, all I need from you is to know if you would like to compete! Please contact me if you are interested in participating in the 2021 Burger Battle competition no later than 10PM Tuesday, December 1. I don’t need information on your burger entry at this time, only participation intent. Start thinking about your contending burger and I will be in touch at a later date with future deadline

Obviously MarketBeat is not a restaurant, but our company is a member of DTSF as a downtown business. They must not have a distribution list specific to restaurants, so every DTSF member got the email. “Should we enter the burger battle?” asked one of our employees as a joke. This led to a discussion about what would be included in a MarketBeat Burger (beats?) and then another discussion about how we could enter the burger battle if we really wanted to.

Eventually we approached Lance and Jenny White of Chef Lance’s on Philips and asked them if they wanted to collaborate on a burger for the 2021 DTSF Burger Battle and raise some money for a charity of their choosing. Somewhat surprisingly, they said yes.

Lance and Jenny chose Call to Freedom, a non-profit that works to support victims of sex trafficking in South Dakota, as the charity they wanted to support. MarketBeat has donated $5,000 to Call to Freedom in honor of Lance and Jenny White and has committed to donating another $5,000 to Call to Freedom should the MarketBeat Burger win the 2021 DTSF Burger Battle. MarketBeat will be donating $1.00 to Call to Freedom for each burger sold at -every- restaurant participating in the DTSF Burger Battle, with a minimum donation of $10,000.00.

Designing the MarketBeat Burger

Designing the burger involved a Facebook survey, a planning meeting, and two rounds of taste-testing. Chef Lance deserves full credit for the final burger design, and he did a fantastic job designing the MarketBeat Burger. One element important to Chef Lance is collaboration among small businesses, so the MarketBeat burger contains ingredients from Breadsmith, Dakota Mushrooms & Microgreens and Stensland Family Farms as way to highlight the work of local small businesses.

The MarketBeat Burger features a ground brisket and pork belly patty topped with sharp cheddar (from Stensland), local pork belly flanks, spicy pickle mayonnaise, custom-grown local baby romaine (from Dakota Mushrooms & Microgreens), locally-grown Roma tomatoes and a custom onion bun (from Breadsmith).

How can I eat the MarketBeat burger?

The MarketBeat Burger will be available at Chef Lance’s on Philips (431 N Phillips Ave) from January 2nd to January 31st. They are open Tuesday-Saturday from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM for lunch and 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM for supper. Chef Lance’s is closed on Sunday’s and Monday’s. When ordering the burger, you will be provided a link and a code that allows you to vote for the MarketBeat Burger in the 2021 burger battle.

Okay, but why?

We are mostly just trying to have some fun to make 2021 a little bit less of a train wreck than 2020 was. We see the MarketBeat burger as a win-win-win project. MarketBeat gets some free (albeit non-targeted) promotion in the Sioux Falls community. Chef Lance gets free promotion and advertising for his new restaurant. Call-to-Freedom has their work highlighted in the Sioux Falls community and receives a generous donation. If the MarketBeat Burger does somehow win the 2021 Burger Battle, that will hopefully encourage other business owners to think creatively about how to get things done and what’s possible when you put your mind to it.

Go try the MarketBeat Burger and let me know what you think!

Update 12/31/2020: We’ve decided to up the ante on our support of Call to Freedom as part of the MarketBeat Burger project. MarketBeat will be donating $1.00 to Call to Freedom for each burger sold at -every- restaurant participating in the DTSF Burger Battle, with a minimum donation of $10,000.00.  Our intent with the MarketBeat Burger project is (a) to support downtown businesses (B) highlight the work of Call to Freedom (C) have some fun. We had heard some concerns about the planned structure of our donation to Call to Freedom, so we wanted to improve it in such a way that raises up every DTSF restaurant participating in the burger battle.