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The mad scientist of Smashburger

The mad scientist of Smashburger

Dressed to the nines, CEO Tom Ryan was all business at a Smashburger in Burnsville, Minnesota.

The mad scientist of Smashburger

The mad scientist of Smashburger

Behind the line, Tom Ryan’s true colors came out as he described the many little techniques and ingredients that add up to big flavor.

The mad scientist of Smashburger

The mad scientist of Smashburger

Tom Ryan became especially emotive when he described the science of the actual smashing of ground beef.

  • Updated

Tom Ryan wasn't interested in being CEO of the Smashburger brand he co-founded in 2007, but as he rolls up in his BMW X6, impeccably dressed and with a full tank of confidence, it seems he was born ready for this role—and this interview. Ryan's impressive resume precluded his arrival at the restaurant. With a Ph.D. in flavor and fragrance chemistry and the inventions of the McGriddle and Stuffed Crust Pizza under his belt, he looked more like a flashy executive than a food science savant that's the bedrock of his career.