The Lebanese Burger Mafia (2023) poster

The Lebanese Burger Mafia (2023)

1h 01 min

The Lebanese Burger Mafia captures the trials and tribulations of Arab Canadians manifested through Burger Baron, a rogue fast-food chain that operates like a dysfunctional mob. To unearth the restaurant's mysterious origins, writer/director Omar Mouallem-himself heir to a Burger Baron throne-travels to these small-town diners. Along the way, he meets dozens of Lebanese families like his own who uplifted their communities with the restaurant's trade secrets, all while squabbling over trademark rights to a company none of them created.Envisioned by an entrepreneurial American named Jack McDonnell in 1957, Burger Baron was once Canada's fastest growing restaurant chain. But aggressive expansion and mismanagement sank the company as quickly as it rose. McDonnell returned to the United States, unaware that Rudy Kemaldean, a shrewd Lebanese immigrant who'd bought one of the last locations in 1965, was rebuilding his empire, one friend or relative at a time.Arriving on the heels of the Lebanese civil war, they trained with "Uncle Rudy," learned the recipes, then moved to a new town to start their own Burger Baron. Today, none pay franchise fees, and few agree on pricing, branding, or even menu items. Burger Baron is essentially a meme now, and the inconsistencies are part of the charm