Award winning and ground breaking Papua New Guinea Burger Bar
Updated: Sep 9, 2019
By Hayley Danielle:
Every part of being a business owner and developer within the food product and restaurant industry can be challenging, but none more so than Buffalo Burger, the little sister to the enterprising Papua New Guinean company Meat Haus, based in the developing city of Port Moresby, PNG.
Meet Kaye Illing, a creative, innovative, inspiring and motivating Business Development Manager for the Meat Haus group. Kaye has literally put her heart and soul into making this venture a success with clever marketing, understanding her customers needs and remaining consistent and true to the brand.
Meat Haus's humble beginnings began in 2015 as a food supplier family business under the umbrella company Food Pro, they were importing high quality products from across the globe and supplying them to some of the key restaurants, hotels, catering companies and oil and gas projects in PNG. To be honest, business was ticking along quite nicely at that stage Kaye tells us, but like all entrepreneurs it wasn't long before a window of opportunity
presented itself and instead of sitting back and procrastinating about what could be it was full steam ahead.
Two Meat Haus Fresh Food-Markets (one being Mini Meat Haus) opened within a couple of years of each other, but don't be fooled these were not just your average stores, they were the first of their kind ever in PNG. Meat Haus began producing their own bacon, hams, kransky's, chorizo, beer sticks and more, they prepared delicious 'on the go' meals, hosted an in-house bakery and created a hub of fresh affordable and flavoursome food to the local market.
Kaye says, "but that just wasn't quite enough, we had all the right elements to create a mini restaurant and so the burger bar seemed like the perfect addition to this dynamic operation, with patties and buns all being created onsite we knew we had the supply and we certainly had the demand and so Buffalo Burger was born."
"We are now known as the butcher, baker and tasty burger maker."
Kaye, along with a dedicated team worked tirelessly on the business development, brand and design, they pioneered the products and menu and never settled for anything other than the best. The first burger bar (yes there are now two) opened to unprecedented success, from everything to the look of the restaurant, the unique packaging and a menu of mouthwateringly good burgers, fries and milkshakes.
"The business model itself is not rocket science" says Kaye humbly. "We all know what we want from a good burger bar, the challenging part was making sure our price point was correct for the market, that we could provide a quick turn around in regards to takeaway
service and that every burger hit the expectations of our Meat Haus customers by delivering the high quality food they were so familiar with."
The current menu consists of the cleverly titled 'Hangover Burger' 'Hangover Burger' with melted cheese, crispy bacon, fried egg, battered onion ring, garlic aioli and BBQ sauce and there is also a delicious ' New York Ox Burger' New York Ox Burger' with smoked and slow cooked beef brisket, haus slaw with cheddar cheese served with home-made New York relish to name but a few!
"We knew we could leverage our marketing through Facebook but I wanted to do something a little different. We created a video to show the story of how we make our patties, it was a way for us to connect with our audience and show that everything truly is made with passion and great care by our amazing team" Kaye tells us. Certainly a clever move, to date the video has been viewed more than 10 thousand times, a stat that even surprised Kaye when we told her! Buffalo Burger also hosts daily or weekly specials, these can often be based on a local celebration or event. When the band UB40 hit Port Moresby the Red, Red Wine Burger Red, Red Wine Burger was a sell out.
The hard work certainly started to pay off, Buffalo Burger were awarded a Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor for receiving consistently excellent reviews!
So what does make this business so successful? "Don't deviate from the brand and what it stands for, you see so many restaurants sending out mixed messaging which is confusing for the customer. We are a burger bar, that is what we do and we do it well, we can tell that story in many formats but it comes back to the same key messaging.
We listen to our customers, our menu is engineered on that bases. We would never remove our most loved and top selling items but sometimes we elevate that particular dish by adding a quirky and fun twist to keep the customers returning. Finally, our marketing is consistent and we are completely engaged on Social media, we respond to comments, reviews and feedback. But more than that, we take the feedback seriously and are committed to aways improving where we can." Kaye said.
This certainly goes to show that whatever country you are in the key principles to successfully marketing your restaurant really doesn't differ that much. We salute you and your hardworking team Kaye for having passion for the industry and never shying away from a challenge!