Chris Edwards first joined BurgerFuel as a front of house team member just shy of 10 years ago. Since then, he's climbed every step of the ladder and has taken over ownership of BurgerFuel Customs Street as the newest BurgerFuel franchisee.
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As a franchised business with 76 stores around the world, culture, passion and hard work are at the heart of everything BurgerFuel do. BurgerFuel looks for franchisees with a die-hard love of fresh, gourmet burgers, entrepreneurial spirit, passion for exceptional customer service, a go-hard-or-go-home attitude and the rebellious edge that has been the hallmark of the BurgerFuel culture since its inception 24 years ago.
We caught up with Chris to grill him on life as a new business owner and to talk us through his BurgerFuel journey to date; his highs, his motivations, and the opportunities he grabbed along the way, which ultimately lead him to where he is today.
How long have you been involved with BurgerFuel?
I started my first shift at BurgerFuel Queen Street in 2010. I always loved the burgers and my friend, who was working there at the time, spoke highly of the work environment and culture; they helped me get my foot in the door and I've never looked back.
I started out as front of house crew and quickly progressed to Shift Manager, then Store Manager, then eventually to the Franchisee Area Manager for all three Auckland CBD stores.
What attracted you to become a BurgerFuel franchisee?
Burgers and the culture - definitely. BurgerFuel is a brand like no other, they wholeheartedly embrace everyone's uniqueness; whether you're into cars, music, art or sports, there's something for everyone. When the opportunity arose for me to take over Customs Street, there was no question whether or not I would go for it.
What is the key to running a successful BurgerFuel store?
Getting stuck in, being present and valuing your store and staff. Passion goes a long way; having the passion and motivation to drive the business and the brand forward is everything.
What are your greatest successes in your BurgerFuel story to date?
The responsibility of running a business at a young age, something I didn't believe possible in other businesses. I have been able to work as a store manager and an area manager of multiple sites. I've had further opportunities to assist with new store openings further afield in regional New Zealand, Australia and even America!
What benefits do you get as a BurgerFuel franchisee that you wouldn't have access to if you went into business on your own?
Access to over 20 years' experience in the burger business combined with intensive marketing and operational support. BurgerFuel have robust systems, procedures and training, there's also the network support and the people behind the brand itself. There's always someone I can call upon, whether it's an experienced Franchisee or a Business Development Manager - there's someone to lend a helping hand.
What motivates and makes you proud to represent the BurgerFuel brand? The atmosphere of the stores and the thumbs up from customers is a fantastic motivator in itself.
BurgerFuel are currently seeking franchisees for exciting new opportunities right across New Zealand. If working hard, playing harder and diving into the world of gourmet burgers in Whangarei, Auckland, Nelson, Dunedin or Queenstown sounds like you, then head to www.burgerfuel.com/nz/franchise to apply.
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