In Focus
FRANCHISING | Staff Reporter, Australia
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Find out more about Huxtaburger's move to franchising

The cult burger chain wants to become a 'national brand like no other'.

QSR Media got to talk with Huxtaburger's General Manager Matt Fickling about the burger brand's decision to open up for franchising.

Huxtaburger has been serving a range of American-style burgers in Melbourne since 2011, when partners Daniel Wilson, Dante Ruaine and Jeff Wong opened their first Huxtaburger store in Collingwood, off the back of their successful Smith Street Huxtable brand. It has since become one of Melbourne’s most successful burger brands. 

QSR Media: What makes your brand concept unique and attractive to prospective franchise partners?

Matt Fickling: Huxtaburger is Melbourne's original cult burger brand and we aren't afraid to say it. The brand is backed by awesome food credentials that have been honed, refined and crafted through decades of hard work and dedication. Huxtaburger is a concept that was born inside a hatted restaurant and, because of that, we confidently proclaim that, we own taste. With an untameably cheeky and a touch twisted personality, our Huxtomers embrace our uniqueness and live the ultimate burger lifestyle.

QSR Media: What’s your plan to recruit good franchise partners?

Matt Fickling: We have set our parameters very firmly when looking for awesome people to join the Huxtatribe. Partnering with Australia’s best franchise consultants, DC Strategy, we have created a clear policy for our recruitment and development program.

That being said, our number one priority is to maintain the integrity of our brand and culture. The Huxtaboys who started it all, Jeff, Dante and Daniel, have worked extremely hard to build this amazing brand and we're determined to find people who truly support and align with this vision. Those who fit the burger lifestyle, believe in our social values and are passionate about taste, are the people we want!

QSR Media: What would you like to tell potential franchise partners?

Matt Fickling: The Huxtamovement is coming. There is a big opportunity here to join an innovative and agile brand. We embrace change and are passionately driven by ideas. With top food credentials, a proven track record and a motivated leadership team with us, we are well placed to impact the burger landscape in a major way. Successful organisations are made up of innovation and discipline and we are committed to both.

QSR Media: What have you learned on this journey towards franchising?

Matt Fickling: First and foremost it has cemented the fact that we are not a burger business, we are a people business. As previously mentioned, our number one focus and commitment through this journey has been about maintaining our brand and culture. Although already well positioned, our biggest learning curve has been bringing it back to basics, to truly understand and define who we are and who we want to be when we grow up.

QSR Media: What are some of your goals with this strategy?

Matt Fickling: Our goal is to build a national brand like no other in Australia. Staying true to our food credentials, never compromising on taste, living and breathing a burger lifestyle, promoting our social values and always being ready to serve. The brand is everything at Huxtaburger and the challenge is to grow with an absolute appreciation for our origins. Our brand and culture will never be compromised.

QSR Media: What else is new at Huxtaburger?

Matt Fickling: The last year has been a big one at Huxta! We've been evaluating and improving every area of the business - locking down operations with an importance on consistency and speed of service; strengthening our brand and cultural position; overhauling our supply chain; streamlining our real estate strategy; developing a robust franchise program; building an internal talent pipeline; introducing delivery; and refocusing on new product development and innovation - it's a long, but exciting list!

We've also got some big news around brand and loyalty that we're looking to announce early next year. So get amped and watch this space! 

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