Rachael Ray, the cooking-magazine-author-television-brand juggernaut, says her next brand extension will be burgers. Ray told an audience at the American Magazine Conference in Phoenix on Sunday she will open the yet-untitled “burger joint” in New York, based on 190 burger recipes she has cooked up. “We’ll rotate them,” she said. “Tuna burgers, swordfish burgers, turkey burgers,” Ray said, “I like anything you can pick up with your hands — portable food.” Ray said she also plans to open fast-food versions of the flagship.
Ray also said she has positioned herself as the “eh” to Martha Stewart‘s “ah.” “Her brand is about striving for perfection,” Ray said. “Ours is … ‘eh.’”
“I’ve never felt influenced by her,” Ray said. “But I wish her nothing but good, warm, wonderful success.”
When People magazine’s Jess Cagle told Ray she has “obviously become a media mogul,” Ray said: “I don’t feel very mogul-y.” Yet Ray admitted she is booked everyday for work or speaking engagements for the remainder of 2006 with the exception of Christmas. “I’m home once every six weeks.”
Ray’s Everyday With Rachael Ray — named an Advertising Age 2006 launch of the year — launched by Reader’s Digest Corp. with a circulation of 350,000, will to increase to 1.6 million by its 13th issue, an explosion that can be traced to Ray the personality, Ray the brand, and, soon, Ray the burger.