The Perfect Grad Present!

It is graduation season and everyone is scrambling to find the perfect congratulatory gift. We have the best idea for you last minute shoppers! Customize a Fatburger E-gift card to send to your favorite graduates, they deserve to be spoiled!

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Give the celebrants the gift of a mouthwatering burger, fries, and a shake. To order your fully customized Fatburger gift cards, visit www.fatburger.com.

Congratulations Thayer and Brooke!

Today I wanted to take a moment to say congratulations to my son Thayer and my new daughter-in-law, Brooke on their destination wedding in Cabo last weekend. It has been a joy to see Thayer grow and thrive both in life and at Fatburger. I’m so proud of all his many accomplishments, including finding Brooke as a wife.

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It is wonderful to see these two childhood friends celebrate this next step in their lives and I couldn’t be happier for the both of them!

Cutting Costs, Not Quality

Buffalos CafeCutting costs and increasing quality products seem like two very different goals, but both can be achieved, even in the food industry.

I was able to save Buffalo’s Cafe $41,200, while improving the quality of food we serve.

Here’s how we did it:

Burgers: We switched from purchasing 20-pound cases of bulk ground-beef to perfect 8-ounce patties that arrive in 27-pound cases. Our burgers are more consistent, cook faster and have overall better quality than our previous product.

Fries: We lowered costs through french-fry vendor consolidation and increased each pack of fries from 27 to 30 pounds, lowering fees by 10 percent.

All in all, we have increased burger sales by 30 percent and continue to save time on distribution and packing at Buffalo’s Cafe!

One of my favorite parts of my job is figuring out how to make things as efficient and cost-effective as possible, while continuing to make delicious-quality food for our customers.

There’s never a dull moment in the food service industry and I love every second of it!

For more information about Buffalo’s Cafe, visit www.buffaloscafe.com.

 

 

Why We’re Different

Fatburger
Burger joints seem like a dime a dozen in America. So what makes Fatburger stand apart from the crowd?

A few things…

1. We’re Fresh 
We use fresh, not frozen, beef patties for all our burgers. What really sets us apart is that you can see your burger being made in the restaurant. When you bite into a Fatburger, it will taste like it came straight from the grill, because it actually did.

2. We’re Unique 
Fatburger patties have a specialized flavor. All our patties are made from lean beef and are covered in a proprietary spice blend. We also use mustard instead of ketchup. You can always order a burger with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, but what about an egg? Like I shared with The Street earlier this month,  at Fatburger we sell a lot of burgers with egg on them. In our earlier days they would call it the hangover burger.

3. We’re Flexible
At Fatburger, we don’t have as much red tape to work through when it comes to introducing new food items. If there’s a good idea cooking, we’re able to jump on it and make it happen more quickly than a larger franchise.

We are a quick-service restaurant chain that stresses the importance of quality taste and quality customer service. It’s something I, as the CEO, take personal pride in and strive to meet every single day.

What It Takes To Work At Fatburger

Smart. Dedicated. Passionate.

These are the qualities I look for in Fatburger employees.

Smart employees, ones who are able to see new opportunities for the company and have the courage and know-how to pursue them, are essential to Fatburger’s success. We are a company that thrives on innovation and growth. Like I recently shared with BusinessNewsDaily, having employees who can spot development opportunities, weigh the risks and know where the big rewards lie is a must. Knowing how to take smart risks that reap big rewards is an important skill to have.

Dedication is an essential quality to have in every employee. Dedicated employees see things through to the end and have the company’s back. Having employees who are invested in the brand and who match the enthusiasm I have for Fatburger creates an energetic and inspiring work environment.

Passion goes hand-in-hand with dedication. I love to hire people who are as excited about our business as I am. Knowing I have a team of employees who believe in the Fatburger brand motivates me to continue to lead this company to better and bigger heights.

I appreciate all the work my employees put into this business — from flipping burgers to working with me at our corporate headquarters. Fatburger stands on a foundation of hardworking, dedicated employees and will continue to succeed thanks to them.

 

 

 

Think bigger to go farther

Andy_BusinessWeekFebThere’s a fine line between good business advice, and bad advice with good intentions. Whether you’re an industry pro or just starting your career, it can be difficult to decipher between the two.

Bloomburg Businessweek surveyed several business leaders on the worst work advice they have received. Answers varied from things like “just tell employees what they want to hear” to “you need an advanced degree to get a good job.”

In my case, the bad advice came from a fellow chain restaurant CEO. He advised me to play it safe and expand Fatburger domestically before going international.

My gut told me to push the limits and introduce Fatburger to the rest of the world, and I chose to follow my instincts. This effort was met with great success, particularly in places where we were the first U.S. food concept to hit ground.

If I had decided to play it safe, Fatburger would have missed many international brand opportunities.

Sometimes you need to listen to your instincts, take risks and go for the bigger fish in the sea in order to succeed!

Talking “Undercover Boss” at the 2014 National Restaurant Association Show

I recently had the opportunity to sit on a 2014 National Restaurant Association Show panel which included Amit Kleinberger of Menchie’s and Anthony Wedo of Ovation Brands. We were present to discuss each of our appearances on the television show “Undercover Boss” and how it allowed each of us to observe our brand’s culture up close.

The panel brought forward some interesting ideas and discussion about how important brand culture is to its overall success, while at the same time, how difficult it is to discern that culture unless you’re down in the trenches with the employees. Fortunately, our mutual appearances on the show allowed us to do exactly that.

Please read the entire article over at Nation’s Restaurant News, but I’ll highlight some of my statements from the panel below.

“Your best ideas always come from your employees,” Wiederhorn said. “But they have to feel empowered to give you that feedback. We learned that there was a barrier there — to the extent that they’re talking to their managers, it wasn’t flowing up. Now questions and suggestions will get answered.”

Since his episode aired, Wiederhorn has expanded Fatburger’s program for soliciting opinions and suggestions from all employees at the restaurant level, and that feedback is quickly shared across the enterprise with the marketing, training and operations teams at headquarters.

“Where your risk is, is if you see something wrong and keep walking,” Wiederhorn said. “I found some cultural things I wanted to change … and employees rallied behind it, and I think your franchise partners and customers will rally behind it.”

Thanks again to Mark Brandau, who covered our panel brilliantly.

What Are You Loving This Month?

Over at Fast Company, they have a regular column entitled “The Recommender,” in which they ask creative people in business what sort of devices, apps or tools in general they are loving this month.

I had an opportunity to chime in with my favorite devices at the moment. Here’s what I had to say, but please click through to see what the group recommended this month.

Lenovo Think­Vision LT1421. This travel monitor is light and has a screen that you can write on–excellent when you are on the go. I use it to sign documents and things of that nature. Mophie Juice Pack Plus: When you’re running from meeting to meeting, there’s no time to plug in your phone. This ensures that I don’t miss an important call.”

I’m often traveling internationally, so these two devices are always with me when I’m on the road.

[Photo credit: the Mophie Juice Pack Plus for the iPhone 5S is pictured above via the Mophie website: www.mophie.com]

Undercover Boss – Andrew Wiederhorn Edition

I know some of you may have missed my episode, so in case you have, I’ve posted it here. This video is S4/Ep12 of “Undercover Boss,” in which I went undercover in one of Fatburger’s franchise restaurants. Wondering how I’d do flipping burgers? Will my cover get blown? Watch and find out!

How the Surge in Food Prices are Impacting Fatburger Franchises

In the food service industry, you would think labor costs would rank the highest on our list of financial worries, and yet food costs can rise unexpectedly and without much warning. That’s what we’re facing right now in the U.S. as droughts and other issues drive up the costs of various commodities. I recently had the chance to speak with the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) about how the rising cost of food is impacting our Fatburger franchises nationwide.

Fatburger North America Inc., which has 150 restaurants globally, likely will increase its burger prices by 5% next month to reflect higher beef costs. The prices will stay up for a year and come down in the middle of next year when supply catches up with demand.”

In case you are unable to view the entire article at the WSJ, I’ve provided a clip, below. While everyone will feel the pinch of higher food costs, including American families shopping at the grocery store, but fast food and fast casual franchisees will have to decide whether to absorb these costs, or far more likely, whether they will pass them onto consumers.

"Food Prices Surge as Drought Exacts a High Toll on Crops." Click to read the entire article.

“Food Prices Surge as Drought Exacts a High Toll on Crops.” Click to read the entire article.