In Focus
FRANCHISING | Staff Reporter, Australia
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Ribs and Burgers targets digital to get ahead of the market

With its increasing investment in the digital sphere over the past 3 years, the brand announced that it is in the midst of implementing a digital system that dispenses burgers for engagement to appreciate the small things its customers do such as liking, sharing, and commenting.

QSR Media spoke with Ribs & Burgers' global food manager Etienne Lubbe and national marketing manager Adam Issa to find out more about the brand's outlook for 2018, as well as its digital innovations in the space:

QSR Media: What's new at Ribs & Burger?

Ribs & Burgers' global food manager Etienne Lubbe: Ribs & Burgers is entering a new phase in it's growth as a business. With 4 new stores planned to open in the calendar year and the potential for franchising, the business is gearing itself towards these growth goals. 

QSR Media: What interesting trends are you seeing in the industry this 2018? 

Ribs & Burgers' global food manager Etienne Lubbe: The time-poor consumers demand for home delivery shows no sign of slowing. Vegan and 'Meat Free' is taking health to the next level with tech companies investing in food start-ups and vegan cheese a trend for 2018. Food now has to be 'Instagrammable' to gain any competitive advantage as consumers take 'eating with their eyes' to the new heights. The new ethnic sees Filipino, Indian street food, and Korean cuisines come to the fore. Food specific trends include raclette, lamb burgers, donner kebabs and schnitzel - in one form or another.

QSR Media: How do you stay ahead of the burger market?

Ribs & Burgers' global food manager Etienne Lubbe: We maintain laser focus on ensuring that what we do everyday, we do to the best of our ability. The way we do this is by demanding the best from our producers and team so that the burger that our customers receive is the way it was intended at it's inception - hot, succulent, and fresh! In the background, we research, trial, and fine tune concepts until we are confident they represent our brand identity in every respect - only then do we reveal them to our public.

QSR Media: How do you plan to engage digital innovations in your process? 

Ribs and Burgers national marketing manager Adam Issa: Today unlike 10 years ago, we read news on our phones, connect with friends and family on social media, and even have food delivered straight to our door with a simple click of a button. Where there were landlines, now there are mobiles; where there were phone orders, now there are delivery apps. In this same light, we at R&B have evolved. 

We have all seen the transition from print to digital - the cost, savings, and the amount of measurable people we can reach, engage, and influence. We are in the midst of implementing a digital system that dispenses burgers for engagement - to appreciate the small things our customer do for us such as liking, sharing, and commenting. We have beacons in stores which allow us to understand the flow of traffic and find ways to ease the process of ordering.

Overall investment in the digital sphere has increased dramatically over the past 3 years and we believe this is just the start for us at Ribs & Burgers.

QSR Media: Any big plans for the year?

Ribs & Burgers' global food manager Etienne Lubbe: Apart from our new store openings, we are working with one of our suppliers on a promotion that aligns with their 150th anniversary which promises to be a truly global event - watch this space!

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