Saudi consumers queue for NZ burgers
3rd May 10, 2:00pm
Saudi families hungry for NZ -style gourmet burgers have been so enthusiastic in their turnouts that they have to wait in their cars until a security guard advises they can enter, says the NZ BurgerFuel franchise's Kiwi founder and business development manager Chris Mason. He said the listed company's 150-seat, 300 square metre fast food restaurant at Damman, failed to factor in the size of a typical Saudi family group, which can be up to 15 reports Business Day. "One Thursday night, which is like our Saturday night, we did the equivalent of the average NZ store's weekly turnover," Mr Mason said. Friday in Saudi Arabia is the religious equivalent of NZ's Sunday. In accordance with Saudi culture, the outlet has a separate entrance and dining area for male diners without family members. A 280sqm outlet is about to open in the United Arab Emirates tourist resort Dubai. Mr Mason said more than 20 more outlets were planned in Saudi Arabia. Not surprisingly, given the Middle East's world-beating capacity for cheese consumption, cheese burgers – using Fonterra cheese from NZ which BurgerFuel buys in bulk and slices on site to its specifications – are the biggest seller. Kiwi relish and vegetable patties also feature on the menu. Mr Mason's dearest wish is get Watties beetroot in his burgers. His meat source is confidential but is thought to include NZ beef. The appeal of NZ produce is "very strong" in Saudi Arabia, Mr Mason said.