What Happened To Baby's Badass Burgers After Shark Tank?

Erica Cohen, an experienced restaurateur, and Lori Barbera, an event planner, met in L.A. while Cohen was opening a new restaurant. They decided to create Baby's Badass Burgers together in 2009, as they both shared a passion for burgers. According to the company's website, Cohen had "been searching for the perfect, quintessential cheeseburger since [she] was a little girl." Their business started with a single, hot pink food truck in Los Angeles.

When the company was set to make its debut, the Los Angeles Times wrote about it with the title, "Will a rolling sex-and-meat show sell? Probably." It wasn't long before celebrities were spotted eating at the burger truck, and by 2010 it had made an appearance on the series "Entourage."

Fast-forward about four years, and Baby's Badass Burgers was not only expanding but also bringing its burgers to "Shark Tank." Cohen and Barbera told the Sharks that Baby's Badass Burgers is "a playfully unique and entertaining mobile burger concept" with the motto "Come for the burgers, stay for the buns." However, the entrepreneurs wanted to switch from food trucks to brick-and-mortar restaurants, and the sharks were skeptical about whether the change would mean more success or failure.

Were the Sharks hungry for Badass Burgers?

Erica Cohen and Lori Barbera entered "Shark Tank" asking for $250,000 for a 30% stake in their business, but the Sharks were baffled at their decision to move away from their successful food trucks into brick-and-mortar locations around the country, and they were even more confused by their request for only $250,000.

Barbara Corcoran asked, "So, I give you $250,000. How do you spend that money?" The partners intended to spend it on their first storefront, believing that the success they had seen with the food truck model would carry over. They told the Sharks that it was "always the vision" to open stores rather than roll out more trucks. But the Sharks thought this was the wrong move, saying that a quarter-million dollars wouldn't be nearly enough to sustain a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

A skeptical Kevin O'Leary argued, "There's so much risk that you don't have now with your [current] business model. Operating a physical location like that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. I don't get it. What's the matter with you people? Why aren't you sticking to the trucks?" In the end, both O'Leary and Daymond John admitted that they definitely would've invested if they were opening more food trucks, but they were passing on the brick-and-mortar store. Cohen and Barbera left empty-handed.

Did it have success after Shark Tank?

"I think the Sharks underestimated our experience, how much we know, and our ability to open and launch a restaurant," Erica Cohen said in the post-episode interview (11:11). "It's gonna be their loss," added Lori Barbera.

Cohen spoke with Pax Stereo TV's Rey Ybarra about the "Shark Tank effect," telling him that not only did their emails and calls increase dramatically after the episode aired, but they began getting a lot more calls asking to book them for events. "Our event business doubled, tripled in that one month following the release," she said. She also said that they'd opened a second food truck in Jacksonville, Florida, and had plans to open two more by the end of August 2013. As for their brick-and-mortar store, Cohen claimed there was "a company that's really interested," so she remained optimistic.

In 2014 Cohen and Barbera appeared in Season 1, Episode 2 of "Restaurant Setup" with the same goal as "Shark Tank," to convince Joe Bastianich of "MasterChef" and Tim Love that they can have a successful brick-and-mortar store. They take Bastianich up on his offer of $250,000 for an investment of 50%, but the store never materialized.

Did a storefront ever materialize?

In 2022 Baby's Badass Burgers became part of Local Kitchens, with Erica Cohen and Lori Barbera finally achieving their dream of having a storefront. As of March 2023, Baby's Bad Ass Burgers is part of the Palo Alto location. It also has a location in Colab Public House in Vista. Baby's Badass Burgers' website states that it has four food trucks: the original in L.A., San Diego, Orange County, and Ventura.

According to a Yelp description posted by Barbera, Baby's Badass Burgers made their way to New Orleans in 2015, but that location has since closed. For a time, the company had expanded into Houston, Texas, but the last Facebook update for that location was posted in 2021, and the website link no longer works.

Customers have had things to say about the company since its time on "Shark Tank." Despite some older reviews on Yelp complaining about rude customer service and soggy lettuce, the newer reviews tend to be mostly positive with four out of five stars. Owner Lori Barbera seems to make it a point to reply to nearly every review.

The company is evolving and expanding

Ten years after appearing on "Shark Tank," the concept of Baby's Badass Burgers doesn't seem to have changed much, albeit with a few differences. While there are still babes serving the burgers, the Instagram page shows most of them dressed more casually in jeans and T-shirts.

The menu has also become more inclusive as well as expanded. Baby's Badass Burgers has added a turkey burger and veggie burger to its menu, and it has a vegan option called Cali Girl that consists of a Beyond Meat patty. Inside the Collab Public House location, the menu includes a kid's section, chicken sandwiches, a salad, and flatbread pizza.

The company is very active on social media, posting mouth-watering photos of its burgers and fries, and occasionally posting special deals. Its Instagram page has over 18,000 followers, while its Facebook page has over 9,000. The company also seems to have expanded with 3B Events. Erica Cohen and Lori Barbera co-own the company, which acts as a liaison between the food trucks and those seeking their services.