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Nik Rollison, co-founder of Slim's Quality Burger. /Photo provided.

How Slim’s Quality Burger plans to win the breakfast daypart with its drive-in model

The burger joint’s newest restaurants feature an expanded breakfast menu.

Typically a shoulder period for the daypart segment, Slim’s Quality Burger is betting on breakfast by offering an expanded menu of seven new breakfast burgers and a ‘drive-in’ service model for its two new restaurants in Queensland.

Slim’s Quality Burger was co-founded by Michael Tripp, Nik Rollison, and David Hales. They opened the first restaurant opened in Marrickville Metro, Sydney, in December 2021. Adding the two new restaurants in Queensland, it currently has five restaurants and takes its inspiration from ‘50s and ‘60s burger joints.

In a quick chat with QSR Media, Nik Rollison said he believes the breakfast segment of the daypart is growing, which is the reason for them investing more in it. 

For example, Slim’s Quality Burger’s Queensland restaurants in Kippa-Ring and Slacks Creek will feature three coffee machines to make barista-style coffees. The restaurants will also have their own juicing machine so the burger chain can offer customers freshly squeezed orange juice. The menu will also offer unique breakfast items like the ‘Slimcicle’, a new dessert that is a mixture of their signature vanilla thickshake and orange juice, similar to a sherbert.

The founders of Slim’s Quality Burger aren’t that new to the burger scene, having initially founded the famous Betty’s Burger before selling the business to Retail Zoo.

“So between seven burgers, chia pudding, barista coffee, and our Slimcicles, we think it’s going to be a unique offering for our customers in Kippa-Ring and Slacks Creek,” Nik said.

Drive-in 

A feature of the ’50s and ’60s in America was drive-in movies. These movie theatres, placed in outdoor settings, allowed customers to watch movies in a large screen whilst in their cars. Customers also eat popcorn or burgers and enjoy a soda from concession stands placed around this outdoor theatre.

Slim’s Quality Burger took the essence of this business model and modernised it. Instead of using a carhop service where the staff goes to cars and take orders, it utilised a QR ordering system to make it more convenient.

The restaurant has dedicated parking spots in its carpark for drive-in services. Cars either pull up facing the restaurant or the driving bollard. On the bollard is a QR code that customers can scan through their windshield. The code will take them directly to an ordering platform where they can choose their meals and pay online without leaving their cars. The order then gets sent to the restaurant which will then be prepared in a matter of minutes and delivered directly from the restaurant to the customer’s car.

This service perfectly aligns with the fast-casual chain's strategy of attracting a broader customer base, particularly those leading fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyles.

“Customers can eat in their car and enjoy the peace and quiet before driving to work or if they have kids sleeping in the back, allow them to have a meal. It’s another level of convenience and feature that our customers will be able to enjoy,” Nik said.

Nik said the Kippa-Ring and Slacks Creek locations are perfect for capturing consumers on their way to work and would want something freshly made, quick, convenient, and has a good value.

Location

Before choosing Kippa-Ring and Slacks Creek, Nik said they had to do a lot of market research, not only on the consumer market but also in the commercial leasing space.

“It’s very challenging to find good drive-thru sites or pad sites. Pad sites come up all the time but usually, they’re snapped up really quickly by the big players like McDonald’s, Hungry Jack’s, KFC, and even Carl’s Jr. now. So sometimes your first choice of a site isn’t available. But lucky for us we got Kippa-Ring and Slacks Creek,” Nik said.

Typically, Slim’s Quality Burger’s internal structure is around 220 square metres which also needs to be bulked up to accommodate its drive-thru and kitchen as well as other amenities.

Competing

When it comes to standing out against other brands, Slim’s Quality Burger boasts that all of its ingredients are fresh. Nik said this means nothing in their restaurants is frozen and all products are freshly made to order.

“We think our offering is more compelling because of that. Yes, the prices are higher, but I know our customers appreciate our offering because of the value they get for getting a fresh product at nearly the same price as a McDonald’s or Hungry Jack’s,” Nik added.

For the next two years, Nik said they will be focusing on rolling out more ‘drive-in’ restaurants, specifically deeper into Queensland and in New South Wales.

“We have aggressive growth plans but we’re going to take it one restaurant at a time,” Nik said.

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