Burgermaster restaurants are the life’s work of founder Phil Jensen. In 1952, he was in his early thirties and had just lost the lease on his restaurant in downtown Seattle. He was approached by two brothers, Don and Bud Mowat, who were looking for someone to run a restaurant on a property they owned near the University of Washington. They offered the lease to Phil, and the rest, as they say, is history. Phil always attributed much of his success to that first opportunity given him by the Mowat brothers.
Phil Jensen passed away in 2009, but his guiding principle is of “give the customer a better deal” still guides the running of the restaurants. Phil’s hands-on attention to detail and his focus on quality made Burgermaster a landmark in the greater Seattle area. The Jensen children now run Burgermaster, and work to ensue that their father’s vision endures.
Phil’s wife, Mary, has always been involved in Burgermaster. A lifelong gardener, Mary Jensen still oversees the planting and maintenance of the landscaping, for which Burgermaster is also known. Visit one of our restaurants when the tulips are in bloom to get an idea of just how different and how special a place a Burgermaster restaurant is. The Burgermaster located in the Bellevue-Kirkland area has received several awards from local gardening clubs.
Since that first location, Burgermaster has expanded to five locations, from Seattle to Everett and employs over 100. The original location, near University Village, has customers claiming to “have come here since this place opened.” A family business in every sense.