New Zealand born brand, BurgerFuel, has been crafting delicious gourmet burgers, sides and shakes across the country (and the globe) for more than 22 years. Using high-quality, natural ingredients, they cater to a huge variety of lifestyles and dietary requirements, serving up everything from free-range chicken and grass-fed beef, to vegan, low-carb and gluten-free options. We caught up with the BurgerFuel team to chat all things burgers, their vegetarian menu, and their environmental policy.
What is the BurgerFuel experience all about?
At BurgerFuel, we believe everyone should be able to enjoy a damn good burger, no matter their lifestyle, eating philosophy or dietary requirements – and we never compromise on using high quality, pure ingredients to deliver this. From gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, low-carb and dairy free options, through to free-range chicken and 100 per cent pure grass-fed New Zealand beef, we’ve got wholesome, delicious options for everyone.
In addition to our high-quality gourmet burgers, sides and shakes, we’re deeply passionate about music, art and cars. We activate this via our very own global radio station, Radio BurgerFuel, which broadcasts live in our stores around the world (and online) from our purpose build studio in Grey Lynn, our arts programme, Creative, Sweet, through which we contribute custom street-art to our stores and the communities around them, and our collection of classic, customised American muscle cars that can be seen cruising the streets all over the country.
BurgerFuel was one of the first to offer gluten-free buns and offered vegetarian burgers from the beginning. Can you speak to this and why BurgerFuel have considered this diversity important?
Our very first store opened on Auckland’s Ponsonby Road in 1995 with two vegetarian burgers on the menu, and our offering has grown from there. It’s always been important to us that we not only had options for vegetarian and vegan customers, but that they were delicious and made to the same quality as our other gourmet burgers – we wholehearted believe that our vegetarian offering should be so good it’ll make even your most carnivorous friends jealous.
We’re constantly refining our products to ensure we are delivering the best experience to our customers. The V8 Vegan (formally known as the V-Dub Vege) was given a makeover earlier this year, with the addition of miso pea mash, pickled beetroot, our own BurgerFuel recipe vegan Aioli and vegan cheese and has become one of our top selling burgers with both vegan and non-vegan customers.
BurgerFuel has a strong environmental policy and position. What are some of the ways that BurgerFuel reduces its environmental impact?
We’ve always worked hard to reduce the impact that BurgerFuel has on the environment since we opened in 1995 with our signature brown paper bags. Our packaging and our Doofers have been made of recycled and sustainable materials and able to be recycled or composted for many years. We also ensure the ink printed on our packaging is made from a natural vegetable oil base sourced from renewable resources, instead of mineral oil solvents.
Our aioli punnets are made from 100 per cent corn starch (not plastic) and we sell soft drinks in glass bottles to further reduce plastic usage in our stores. We turn our old billboard skins into beanbags and old shoddy chip oil into biodiesel.
We’ve recently phased out plastic straws and plastic shake cup lids – all BurgerFuel straws and their wrappers, as well as the shake lids, are 100 per cent plant-based and 100 per cent compostable.
There is, of course, always more that can be done. Our aim is to constantly improve in this area, making small changes often, and bigger changes when wherever possible for the greater good of the environment. As an industry, there are operational and logistical challenges to overcome when it comes to being as environmentally friendly as possible however we’ve only got one planet and our goal is to work as hard as possible to reduce the impact BurgerFuel (and the industry) has on the environment.