Join Friends & Brgrs International Expansion
Friends & Brgrs is seeking to expand internationally in the fresh casual segment. The company is well-known for its delicious burgers and triple-cooked Fresh Fries.
We started Friends & Brgrs for people just like you. People who like great burgers. People like us. That’s why we bake our own buns, triple-cook our fries and grind the meat ourselves. We use the best ingredients we can find, and buy them from people we know and trust. No shortcuts and no compromises. There are easier ways to make burgers and fries, but not better.
Sebastian, Rasmus, Kaj, Saul, Ole, Peter
During the last years a new segment has appeared in the restaurant industry: fast casual. The basic idea is to serve good, high-quality food (casual dining) at a lower price point by simplifying the way the food is served. The food is ordered at a counter, and picked up from the kitchen (fast food). Fast casual has grown rapidly: the global growth was 10.4% between 2014 and 2015 (Euromonitor International: qsrmagazine.com/news/fast-casual-fastest-growing-foodservice-segment-globally).
Friends & Brgrs has developed the fast casual concept into a new subsegment, fresh casual. The company uses fresh ingredients, prepares all the food in the restaurants and avoids additives/preservatives whenever possible. The ingredients are sourced from suppliers that are known and thereby trustable. As a result the standard menu items are additive-free.
Friends & Brgrs also differs from other fast casual competitors by serving the food on plates/in glasses. Thereby the company has been able to reduce the garbage by approximately 80%.
Friends & Brgrs operation is based on the following values:
Every Brgr matters
“Even though the sales volume is high in our restaurants, we are to never forget that every guest is entitled to a great food experience. Therefore every Brgr matters.”
We serve friends, not customers
“Our guests expect good service, given by a skilled personnel that treat them as a friend, not just as another customer.”
We respect the ingredients
“We use fresh ingredients, and make sure that the quality always meets our requirements. We have discovered that good ingredients don´t need any additives. Because we use fresh produce, which varies according to the season, we continuously develop our methods and practices.”
We create opportunity
“We care for a good work environment, both in terms of relationships between people and the physical environment. We want to create opportunities for our employee to succeed in their work by working together, helping and supporting each other. We strongly believe in the people we work with, and their willingness to dedicate themselves to our common goals.”
Friends & Brgrs' vision is to become an international burger restaurant chain known for making the best fresh casual burgers and fries.
More and more people are interested in what they eat and where the food comes from, and natural food is in high demand. Friends & Brgrs offers high-quality burgers and fries, made from the best ingredients available and without additives. The ingredients are sourced as locally as possible. The relatively low price point makes the food affordable for most people.
The concept is supported by strong and growing trends in the restaurant industry:
- The better burger trend
- Transparency, people want to know what they eat
- A more unpretentious way of serving
- Clean food, fewer additives & preservatives
- Local produce.
Friends & Brgrs plan is to expand by establishing new restaurants in larger cities throughout Europe. The strategy is to establish 2-3 new restaurants per year the coming years.
In contrast to most restaurant chains, Friends & Brgrs has decided not to franchise. The company believes that the best way to secure the quality is by controlling the operations themselves.
Unsere Geschäfts- und Marktsituation
Friends & Brgrs market position is in the fresh casual segment, which can be considered an upgraded version of fast casual. The fresh casual market segment offers an excellent price/quality ratio.
The fresh casual segment has a huge potential, it attracts people from both casual dining/fine dining and fast food. Especially when it comes to people with higher and more specific demands on the food quality, but still prefer the more affordable price point. A customer group that is noticeable at Friends & Brgrs is young adults, and especially young women.
Friends & Brgrs has restaurants in the following cities:
- Pietarsaari, Finland (2014)
- Helsinki, Finland (2015)
- Tampere, Finland (February, 2016)
- Oulu, Finland (April, 2016)
- Copenhagen, Denmark (July, 2016)
Copenhagen is the first restaurant abroad, and thereby an important step for the company. The vision is to expand the international part of the business rapidly in the coming three years.
The interior design of the restaurants is simple and clear. The design supports the concept by its simplicity, and the company’s principle of transparency is clearly visible. The open kitchen and the communication inside the restaurant enhances the focus on quality, and gives the customer an authentic dining experience.
Friends & Brgrs serves burgers (beef and vegan), Triple Cooked Fresh Fries, milk shakes and beverages. The company puts a strong emphasis on product development and will introduce new, interesting burgers in the near future.
All products are made from fresh high-quality ingredients.
The meat is sourced from trustworthy suppliers, located as close to the restaurants as possible. The quality of the meat is secured by using suppliers that the company knows and trusts. The meat is delivered fresh, and it is minced in the restaurants. The patties are formed by hand and always cooked to order.
There is a small bakery in each restaurant. The buns are baked daily according to Friends & Brgrs' own recipe.
Friends Triple Cooked Fresh Fries
The fries are made using the famous triple-cooked method commonly found in fine dining restaurants, particularly in London. Friends & Brgrs has refined the method, and created its own version. The potatoes are delivered fresh to the restaurants, and prepared daily. The oil used in the cooking process is pure, additive-free vegetable oil.
Sauces and dips
The mayonnaise used in the brgrs and the dipping sauces is made in the restaurants from fresh ingredients, and flavored according to Friends & Brgrs' own recipes.
The Vegan Brgr
Friends & Brgrs also offers a vegan burger. Since many people adhere to a meat-free diet, the company has worked hard to develop alternatives to the traditional beef patty.
Friends & Brgrs wants to give everyone the opportunity to eat their food by reducing the allergens in their food. Through extensive product development, most burgers can be served as gluten and/or lactose-free or without dairy. Most burgers, as well as the Fresh Fries, are also completely additive-free (no E-numbers).
The company puts a lot of effort into product development, both to improve existing products and to bring new products to the menu. The next major product introduction will be a renewed Vegan Brgr and a new Chicken Brgr. These introductions are scheduled for the beginning of 2017.
Friends & Brgrs operations are characterized by a high level of transparency. The transparency is seen in the communication as well as in the design of the restaurants. The kitchens are designed as an open kitchen solution, enabling the guests to observe the preparation of the food.
Many of the food preparation processes that Friends & Brgrs uses, have been developed within the company by the staff. The objective has always been to make the food from scratch, using the best available ingredients.
The Friends & Brgrs Team
Friends & Brgrs has a dedicated team with a high degree of enthusiasm in bringing the company forward. The company wants to provide excellent customer service to every person visiting the restaurants. The management strongly believes in motivating employees through transparency, and by giving every member of the staff a fair chance to be successful.
The following persons are members of the Board of Friends & Brgrs: Saul Mäenpää, Peter Fagerholm, Kaj Fagerholm Rasmus Östman, Sebastian Östman and Ole Snellman. For details, see below.
CEO, co-founder and member of the Board
Peter has over 25 years of experience in the food business. He has held leading positions in sales, marketing and strategy within the Snellman group. Peter has an in-depth knowledge of consumer behaviour, and extensive skills in strategic leadership, communication and branding.https://fi.linkedin.com/in/peterfagerholm
COO, co-founder and member of the Board
Saul is a true entrepreneur who has successfully established several companies. He brings many years of experience from the restaurant business, both as a manager and as an entrepreneur. Saul is a problem-solver, and can find solutions to almost any challenges a business may face. He is an enthusiastic leader, and has the ability to motivate the people around him.https://fi.linkedin.com/in/saul-mäenpää-03a016121/en
Country Manager Finland
Isak has been deeply involved in the development of Friends & Brgrs from the start. He is an enthusiastic leader with a talent for making change happen. Isak has a strong ability to analyze the current situation, form plans and implement them successfully together with the rest of the team. Isak is the youngest member of the management team, and brings a fresh view on leadership.https://fi.linkedin.com/in/isak-fagerholm-63a6a2118/en
CFO & New Locations, co-founder and Chairman of the Board
Kaj has 20 years of experience in international business, and as a CEO in the logistics & transportation industry. He has extensive experience in sales, finance, IT and management. Kaj’s analytical skills and the ability to take a process view of the business, is of great value to this fast-growing company. He finds fast solution to complicated challenges. Kaj also serves as chairman of the board at Friends & Brgrs.https://fi.linkedin.com/in/kajfagerholm
Member of the Board and co-founder
Sebastian is the co-founder, COO and Client Director of the digital marketing agency Genero. He has played an essential role in building Genero into a successful agency. Sebastian has extensive experience in running big client accounts and new business development.
As a board member of Friends & Brgrs Sebastian brings valuable insights into branding and digital marketing, both on a strategic and tactical level. Sebastian is also engaged in the marketing & communication of Friends & Brgrs through the cooperation between Friends & Brgrs and Genero.https://fi.linkedin.com/in/sebastianostman
Member of the Board (secretary) and co-founder
Rasmus is the CEO and co-founder of the digital marketing agency Genero. He has played an essential role in building Genero into a successful agency. Rasmus has extensive experience in communication and marketing.
As a board member of Friends & Brgrs Rasmus brings valuable insights into branding and digital marketing, both on a strategic and tactical level. Rasmus is also engaged in the marketing & communication of Friends & Brgrs through the cooperation between Friends & Brgrs and Genero.https://fi.linkedin.com/in/rasmusostman
Member of the Board and co-founder
Ole is the founder and CEO of Oles Fast Food. He has more than 30 years of experience from the food industry, and over 20 years of experience in a fast food-related business. Ole has built Oles Fast Food into a successful food company, selling meat products to customers all over Finland.
As a member of the board at Friends & Brgrs, Ole brings a long term view and his extensive experience as an entrepreneur.https://fi.linkedin.com/in/ole-snellman-4b801117
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General risks in the restaurant sector
Generally speaking, one can say that food is a low-risk business. The share of the meals eaten at restaurants continues to increases in relation to the meals eaten at home. The restaurant industry is more cyclical than the food industry as a whole, but the fresh casual segment is expected to grow regardless of the economic cycles. This is due to the fact that growth in the segment comes from both the traditional fast food sector as well as from the fine dining segment.
Another potential risk factor is the general attitude towards red meat in the markets Friends & Brgrs is planning to operate in. The company's quality profile is expected to decrease this risk. Friends & Brgrs will work towards increasing the share of white meat in the food, as well as bringing more vegetarian options to the menu.
The restaurant market is highly competitive, and therefore the risks associated with a new venture are substantial. Friends & Brgrs reduces this risk by establishing its business in the subsector of fast casual, which enjoys a double-digit growth rate internationally. The company reduces the risks even further by developing the concept into a fresh casual concept, and thereby increasing the lead on its competitors.
Friends & Brgrs’ price level is 50 - 70% higher than that of traditional fast food. There is a risk if the company isn't succesfull in differentiating its concept from fast food. Many customers, especially young adults, are willing to pay more for food of a higher quality and by communicating its concept, Friends & Brgrs can avoid the risk of being misunderstood in terms of the price/quality ratio.
Expensive set-up costs in order to get premium business locations increases the financial risk. Opening a new restaurant is capital intensive and requires investments of 300 000 € - 1 000 000 €. To reduce the amount of capital required, the company leases the facilities and the kitchen equipment, and furniture is financed through bank leasing.
A miscalculation of a business location in combination with long leasing contracts represents a potential risk for the company. To reduce the risk, the company strives to establish itself in highly populated areas where the company can present itself without massive costs in marketing. The risk is also reduced by making leasing contracts only for a few years, and adding options to extend the leasing contract.
Food safety is a critical factor in the restaurant business. The company has extremely strict procedures to ensure food safety and quality.