Local burger joint jets international
Kiwi-owned and operated burger chain, Better Burger, is in expansion mode and is determined to leave a lasting impression on jetsetters as they depart New Zealand.
The company, which currently employs 63 staff and operates in four Auckland locations, is the latest of 21 new eateries to revamp Auckland Airport.
Better Burger is officially opened its doors on October 8 in partnership with global leader in hospitality, Delaware North, who recently announced an exciting new food and beverage concept at New Zealand’s main gateway.
“Millions of passengers pass through the airport every year and it’s time they tasted something better,” says Better Burger general manager Rod Ballenden.
The company has employed 20 new staff to run the restaurant, which will be located airside of the international terminal.
Auckland Airport’s general manager of retail and commercial, Richard Barker, says the arrival of Better Burger is a sign of new things to come at the airport.
“Travellers tell us they want to sample the best of New Zealand’s food and experiences so we’re re-shaping the food and beverage offerings at both Domestic and International terminals. Better Burger fits really well with that plan.”
With an ethos firmly set in doing fast food better, Better Burger boasts 100 per cent plant-based, commercially compostable packaging – a claim believed to be unmatched by any fast food chain in Australasia.
“ With us our customers count on a good feed that doesn’t come from a freezer and isn’t filled with preservatives. They also know that they won’t be leaving behind any unnecessary plastic waste,” says Rod.
The first Better Burger restaurant opened in 2014 and the home-grown company is ensuring its foreign-owned competitors continue to feel the bite as it expands with future plans for sites in Christchurch, Tauranga and Hamilton.
“We’re putting ourselves on the global map – just starting at home by giving international travellers something decent to remember New Zealand by as they jet off,” says Rod.
Kneaded into shape by the team of five behind the Britomart Hospitality Group, the burger chain’s 2020 growth ambitions project group turnover of $20 million.
“It makes absolute sense to partner with Delaware North for our airport restaurant. They are leaders in their field and we are ready as a local company to take the next step,” says Rod.
The Better Burger recipe was conceived to provide all the conveniences of a conventional fast food chain, but one that prides itself on a commitment to fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. None of the burger chain’s restaurants has a freezer on site and Rod says the airport eatery will be no different.
“We’ve proven that we can keep up with demand without lowering our standards to below-average food. We cut fresh potatoes into fries with each order and our fresh produce is delivered daily,” says Rod.
Better Burger’s values appealed to Delaware North, says Mark Owens, the company’s executive director of travel & hospitality services.
“We’re excited to be collaborating with Better Burger as we help Auckland Airport bring the best of New Zealand to the world,” says Mark.
“Better Burger’s commitment to using fresh and locally sourced ingredients, combined with the team’s ability to consistently deliver high-quality, delicious food made them a natural fit to partner with us.”
Earning a cult-like following in Auckland, the Better Burger chain offers a simple menu of four burgers (beef and vegetarian options), fries and shakes complete with secret code words that unlock loaded options for those in the know.
Rod says the simple offering and promise of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients is proving popular and that the airport restaurant will have a couple of extra breakfast options for early travellers.