In Focus
NEW CONCEPTS | , UK
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EXCLUSIVE: Meet the UK's Newest QSR and Hear About their Ambitious Plans

Ribs & Burgers is well known in Australia, where they have amassed a loyal following. Part of the Seagrass Boutique Hospitality Group, they are now setting their sights beyond Australia's shores, opening up their first UK outlet in Teddington. Sitting down with QSR Media, they share what sets them apart, and the ambitious plans they have for the UK.

QSR Media: Tell us about your brand?
Our brand is inspired by butchers and old fashioned butchers shops. It’s quite retro- we are saying that we are like a butcher’s shop of old who has turned their hand to making ribs and burgers.
If you look back at those days, every community had their own independent butcher who was passionate about meat and demonstrated craftsmanship and a love and deep knowledge of their product. That is the type of passion we have for the food that we serve. We believe we understand meat and ribs to this level.

QSR Media: Where are you positioning yourselves? Who do you see as your competition?

Ribs and Burgers is a QSR that specialises is quality meats, specifically supreme ribs complimented by burgers. So really we’d say that we are a high quality ribs restaurant that also offers burgers as well as an array of sides.

We don’t see ourselves competing with burger brands. That is one of the reasons we wanted to move into the UK. We felt there was a gap in the market for good quality supreme ribs.

QSR Media: Why did you decide to open in Teddington first?

Our strategic approach to UK expansion is a community based roll-out. We want to open in areas that have strong local communities that we feel we could offer value to along with personable service. We have very detailed open site criteria, based on receptivity of the local community to our brand, footfall and the site being around a local community.

QSR Media: How many outlets do you see opening in the next 12 months?

We did extensive research and product testing before opening this site. The results of that research were very positive, and indicated that not only was it a good time to enter the market but that our offering is something new and would be well embraced. On this basis we envisage opening around 50 outlets in the next five years or so.

QSR Media: What makes your offering unique?

Our recipes set us apart. Our marinades and sauces come from our founder’s family, where they have been passed down through the generations.

Our ribs are slow cooked to make them very tender and fall off the bone. Once cooked we then baste them with our family recipe marinade, which has a very distinct and unique flavour. So while other restaurants may serve ribs, ours come with a flavour you can’t get anywhere else. But it doesn’t end there. Our burgers are also unique, coming with our ‘Aunty Jones pink sauce’ and the lemon and herb marinade that goes on our chicken is also a family recipe.

In Australia we have over 15 stores, which is testament to our offering of reasonably priced great food, provided in a comfortable setting and finished off with personable service.

QSR Media: How do you do service differently?

We haven’t tampered with the core of the QSR offering ie. you look at the menu board, order your food at a counter, and wait for it to be delivered. However where we differ is on two fronts. First of all, we open in local communities. The result of this is that our staff get to know our customers and build a relationship with them. Secondly, we pride ourselves on being casual and fun. We want to let our staff personalities shine through. As an example, music plays in our restaurants. If a member of staff likes a particular song and wants to start dancing to it, that’s fine with us. We think letting our staff be themselves makes for happier employees and a better customer experience.

We also nurture our people and provide them an opportunity to grow and advance within the company, particularly as we expand in the UK.

QSR Media: Coming from Australia, did you have to alter the way you did things to suit the UK market?

No, not really. The way we approach service is the same in both markets, as is the way we treat our meat and the products we sell. The only difference is that we have sourced out meat locally.

QSR Media: What trends are you seeing in the customer base?

Consumer patronage of fine dining restaurants is decreasing in favour of casual dining. QSR is increasing year on year by approximately 12% and we are well poised to capitalise on this market growth with an offering that is being more and more requested by our target consumers.

QSR Media: What is your price point?

Our entry level burger starts at £5 which is a premium meat burger.

Our average spend per head is around £16-£18.

QSR Media: What trends are you seeing in the customer base?

Consumer patronage of fine dining restaurants is decreasing in favour of casual dining. QSR is increasing year on year by approximately 12% and we are well poised to capitalise on this market growth with an offering that is being more and more requested by our target consumers.

QSR Media: What is your price point?

Our entry level burger starts at £5 which is a premium meat burger.

Our average spend per head is around £16-£18.

QSR Media: What type of marketing do you have planned?

A community based marketing, predominately in the catchment area of our customers with an increasing brand awareness in the South East and other area's of the UK as we roll out our stores.

QSR Media: Tell us about your other Seagrass brands? Do they have plans to open in the UK?

We saw an opening for supreme ribs in the UK, and that is why we chose to open Ribs and Burgers first.

There are plans to open sites within our Seagrass portfolio and once the appropriate site is located, we'll open accordingly.
 

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