Colony Co-Working Space Manchester Colony Co-Working Space Manchester

Burgerism - A tasty bite of success

Colony Co-Working – Down Arrow

18 August 2020

As part of our £10 Day Pass offer at our Piccadilly location we have invited Burgerism to cater their tasty treats on Friday 21st of August. Here's a short interview with Burgerism's Mark Murphy on their origins and how to step into the Manchester food delivery ring.

How do you take on the most ordered item on Deliveroo and come out swinging? Burgerism are competing with the big players in Manchester’s delivery food scene by sticking to their guns and doing what they do best.

Mark Murphy sat down with me to talk about their origins and his advice on how to stay cool in the rapidly changing landscape of the hospitality sector.

How did Burgerism come into existence?

Burgerism was an interesting one because burgers are the biggest or most popular food in the delivery space, but probably one of the most difficult things to deliver. Burgers are made to go from grill to plate, not necessarily grill to box to motorbike to customer. But on Deliveroo the burger is the most popular item. It was clear that it wasn’t so much a niche but it’s a food that people really like. So we wanted to try something that people would really give a go, that wasn’t pushing anything too radical on customers here.

We knew we were going to launch in Manchester and that there was an opportunity to do a really good burger, specifically a smashed burger. We tend to take influences from other food cultures to see what is really good but not being done here yet. Smashed patties were growing in America, was getting quite big in America, and yet wasn’t as commonly found in the UK.

The focus was to do things very simply and try to create a really great burger, which takes a lot of time! Trying to create a really great burger that delivers really well is a tough task. We have an ethos at Burgerism of doing everything in house. All of the meat is made to our spec, freshly minced each day. We get fresh potatoes in and wash them, chip them by hand ourselves every day. Everything is cooked to order. Nothing is hot held. That is our ethos but it’s also very important if you want the food to deliver well. We want it to be going into that box or packaging as fresh as possible.

We felt that all those things were tough challenges you know? So we tried to keep everything else as simple as possible. The menu is lean, we try to clearly be identified as a great place for burgers, wings and fries. And thankfully we’ve grown organically, relying almost exclusively on word of mouth – we’re lucky that our customers feel compelled to shout about Burgerism! It’s great that people really do take notice of the amount of consideration that goes into our food.

How local is the brand?

Well it all started here. If Manchester likes to claim Ryan Giggs then they can definitely claim Burgerism. Most of our produce comes from the Manchester area as well. We built the brand here and our menu has evolved as we’ve grown to understand our customers more here. I think Burgerism, to me, the customers own it as much as any of us. The team set the culture and the customers define the brand. We listen to what they want, it’s very organic. Thankfully we never committed to being on posters all over bus stops saying “This is what we are!” you know. Because that would have been a different thing to what we are today. It just so happens that we have ended up with a really great brand and we are very proud of that.

What has been one of your biggest learning curves when competing for a bite of the burger market?

I love to look at competition and I love to learn from others, but you can’t let the competition define you either. Just because some operators are doing burgers fast and cheap doesn’t mean you have to too. If we want to be a world class team and make world class burgers we wouldn’t say “no one is doing that in this city so we won’t either”. I think that’s good advice for anyone whether it’s food, entrepreneurship or business. Also don’t over complicate it. Don’t take on the world at the start. It’s hard to be consistently world class so keep it as simple as possible.

In a world where the sustainability of beef as a food source is increasingly coming into question, how are Burgerism future proofing themselves?

We have a vegan recipe for a burger ready to go and a really great veggie burger also. We certainly respect the need to be as sustainable as possible and as a company that’s one of our five values. 100% of our energy is green for example. I suppose most of these things will be determined by the consumer. Do I think meat will go away? No. Do I think we will see more flexitarians? Yes. And I would encourage more flexitarian eating. If anything, recent trends highlight to me that if we are going to eat less meat in the future then it should be really, really good and not poor quality or tasteless. The meat industry is under threat for good reason. So we want to make sure that if we are going to be using meat that it’s only for a really great product.

You can enjoy a Burgerism Burger for free this Friday (21.08.2020) at Colony Piccadilly with a £10 Day Pass. Get yours now HERE. Limited number available.

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