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A Good Burger Comes with Fries and a Shake

For viewers who love eating burgers, shakes and fries on the go along with a tasty side of nostalgia.

Good Burger (1997)

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3 / 5

For viewers who love eating burgers, shakes and fries on the go along with a tasty side of nostalgia.

Good Burger is a 1997 comedy film that carries on a long legacy for those who are fans of the sitcom Kenan & Kel. The film stars Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell, two Black celebrities widely recognized by young audiences. Dan Schneider, the producer of numerous Nickelodeon live-action sitcoms and co-president of the TV production company “Schneider’s Baker,” makes a major appearance as the manager of the restaurant Good Burger. Though this movie was produced in the 1990s, it still carries on as a beloved and hilarious classic.

Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger. Can I take your order?

This article will discuss the relationships between coworkers, fast-food competition, and the film’s lasting mark in black cinema and comedy.

Fast Food Competition

this image is of dan schneider
Dan Schneider as the owner and manager of Good Burger

The main plot of the movie focuses on two rival fast-food restaurants: Good Burger and Mondo Burger. Viewers can easily distinguish fair vs unfair competition between the two restaurants as the story unfolds. While Good Burger plays fairly despite its small size, Mondo Burger cheats customers with their oversized burgers and illegal food chemicals. During the grand opening of Mondo Burger, when all hope seems lost, Ed (Kel) is able to put his restaurant back in business with a new secret sauce that the employees of Mondo Burger are unaware of. This proves to viewers that Ed may be clumsy and gullible, but he has integrity. He’s also very empathetic and forms a friendship with Dexter (Kenan), the “new guy” working at his restaurant.

Ed and Dexter decide to investigate Mondo Burger after seeing a dog eating a burger from Good Burger. If viewers look closely as the dog eats a discarded burger patty, they will see that one burger patty is three times bigger than the other burger patty. Ed and Dexter discover that Mondo Burger is using an illegal food chemical to artificially make their burger patties large in size. None of the customers know about this. At the same time, Kurt and his employees from Mondo Burger sneak into Good Burger to add shark poison to Ed’s secret sauce. Viewers can see that Mondo Burger is cheating their customers with unhealthy, oversized burger patties. Ed finds the illegal food chemical, then pours a large amount of the chemical into the grinder, creating a massive explosion inside Mondo Burger’s kitchen, and causing the entire restaurant to collapse. The shutdown of Mondo Burger symbolizes that cheating in fast food competition can become exposed and result not only in a loss of profit, but also an entire customer base.

Friendships Among Employees

this image is of Ed and his secret sauce
Ed and his secret sauce

Dexter becomes angry with Ed after realizing Ed accidentally caused a car accident that required Dexter to get a summer job. At first, Dexter avoids Ed, but after seeing how Ed’s secret sauce put the Good Burger restaurant back into business, he and Ed form a friendship. This friendship shows viewers teamwork, mutual trust, and brotherhood. Dexter trusts Ed not to tell anyone about his secret sauce to save Good Burger. The two friends risk their own lives by breaking into Mondo Burger twice to expose their competitor’s cheating.

Dexter befriends Monique and Otis, two other employees working at Good Burger, as well as Mr. Baily, the manager of the restaurant, and his new boss. While his original goal is to get a job to pay off his debts, Dexter realizes that the restaurant is in danger of shutting down due to its competitor, Mondo Burger, and decides to make a difference to the customers and employees by preserving the legacy of Good Burger. After exposing their competitor Kurt’s schemes to the police, Ed and Dexter are praised for saving the restaurant.

In many ways, Dexter is lucky he got fired from working at Mondo Burger; if he became involved in Kurt’s schemes, he too would have faced legal trouble.

A Legacy in Today’s Generation

The movie was produced in the 1990s yet it still leaves an impact on older children, teenagers, young adults, and fans of black cinema, and all cinema. Good Burger contains elements that may not be suitable for very young children, but the messages are clear to viewers. For one, the movie centers on the value of healthy competition. Competition is not only applied to team sports; fast-food restaurants also face competition when building their business. This theme is enhanced by strong representation of Black characters, ensuring audiences look up to small-town heroes who make a big difference.