TASHA BRINGS AUSSIE R&BS TO MZANSI
South Africans won’t need to fire up the barbie to indulge the full flavour that’s made Ribs & Burgers a phenomenon in Australia, the United States and UK with the boutique casual dining restaurant announcing it will be opening its doors, right on our doorstep.
Pretoria is about to become part of the Ribs & Burgers legacy, with the first local restaurant, and 20th in the group, opening in Menlyn Maine, in September 2016.
In a country where red meat dominates most menus, Ribs & Burgers crafts a niche by offering something special and varied to the consumer who expects more from a restaurant than mere hunger control. The Ribs & Burgers concept brand was developed to have an identity that evoked the history of the classic butcher. Founded in Australia by Bradley Michael, Ribs & Burgers will be spearheaded locally by Savva and Natasha Sideris.
Although there are many burger restaurants world-wide, in 2011 Ribs & Burgers made a name for itself by putting a new spin on ‘trendy, fresh, quick, casual’. Serving traditional fresh, hot, succulent ribs and burgers and other Aussie-style delights for the discerning foodie, combined with offering friendly service, cosy vintage furnishings and a warm welcoming atmosphere, this boutique restaurant quickly became the talk of the town. Over the years Ribs & Burgers has proven their passion doesn’t end in the kitchen either, through their support of local farmers, sponsoring of community groups and helping feed those less fortunate.
“For me, restaurants are a fascinating laboratory for life – they test us to the limit,” says Bradley, who is actually an ex South African who moved to Australia and started the brand and is now bringing it back home. “It’s hard work to remain consistent in the pursuit of providing product & service excellence and hospitality to our guests. We have always been a ‘people organisation’ that works for people. My vision and my goal from the very start of Ribs & Burgers was to become the preferred choice in the hospitality industry and to keep growing and developing our people.”
With these goals in mind, coupled with the everlasting quest to ‘never slow down’, Ribs & Burgers began expanding and today have 16 locations across Australia. In 2015 they expanded internationally and are now in the USA and will also be opening in the UK and Dubai soon.
Nic Marot, who has over 12 years of experience in the food business as a seasoned restaurant consultant with a keen passion for well-sourced meat and healthy food, will be spearheading the new venture.
“Shifting consumer priorities are forcing restaurants to adapt in a variety of ways – some are rising to the occasion, while others are falling flat. South African consumers are now finally looking at the ingredient list and asking lots of questions about what’s in the food they’re eating. They also wanting a ‘whole experience’. They want to enjoy their meal in an area they feel they can connect with the brand. The trend is leaving a big impact on the food industry as a whole, and opened the perfect space for Ribs & Burgers to occupy as a casual dining destination, that caters to both male and female customers, with a healthy slant to it as well,” adds Savva. “The ribs are marinated and slow cooked for eight hours then basted with a propriety family recipe. All meals are cooked with quality ingredients, including locally sourced grass fed beef and hormone free chicken with a selection of healthy salads and sides.”
The interior is driven by an open style kitchen emphasizing the theatre of food preparation and the deliverance of hearty gourmet food to its customer. This theatre is amplified by exposing the operations and allowing the customer to connect with the brand. The crafted detailing of the interior, eclectic elements sourced globally and new creative ideas are fused together with substantial brand messaging, engaging the customer to indulge in a new casual dining experience. The design includes custom wooden boards, classic typography, a fresh contemporary combination of tiles and marble, with light and airy colouring inspired by the brand, which creates a fresh spin on the traditional darkly lit meat restaurants we have grown accustomed to.
Ribs & Burgers will fill the gap in the market for those who don’t wish to sit in a formal steakhouse setting, but still want a stylish environment that appeals to both sexes. With a variety of healthy options as well as good classic burgers to keep people coming back, diners can be assured of delicious food and exceptional value for money without compromising on quality.