Igor Podstreshny, co-founder of Burger Heroes: “If the colonization of Mars begins, we will open there too”

Co-founder of Burger Heroes Igor Podstreshny tells how to grow from a food truck to a cafe in three years, how Burger Heroes burgers differ from competitors and what he advises all young entrepreneurs.

- The dream of opening my own cafe appeared a long time ago, back in those days when I was studying as an art critic. First I wanted to open a coffee shop in a gallery on Kitay Gorod, where we exhibited not very famous, but very talented artists. But somehow it did not happen. After a couple of years, I met Alexey Gisak, the owner of the Wokker network, and realized that this was the person I want to work with both in terms of knowledge and in terms of approach.

So I ended up in the Walker. A year and a half gained experience, watched how everything works in general. Unfortunately, now I understand that at that time I didn’t dig very deeply, collected only the tips, and the entire iceberg remained under water.

At some point I proposed a food truck project, and it was simply wrapped up. It was a real challenge.

Then my ego knew no bounds, and I really was offended that my cool idea was not taken seriously. This was the starting point for the discovery of Gyros for Heroes. Denis Sarvin, a friend with whom we had long dreamed of a cafe, and I went to Germany to get a trailer. Initial investments - 400 thousand rubles. 200 thousand fell on each other - I sold my car, which I bought, gradually saving my salary.

Igor Podstreshny, co-founder of Burger Heroes: “If the colonization of Mars begins, we will open there too”

Photo: Press service archive

In general, I always wanted to have my own business. In childhood, in our family there was very little money, often there was none at all.

I realized quite early that if not me, then no one. My parents gave apartments to my friends, but I knew that I could count only on myself.

I really remember the episode from the interview with Artemy Lebedev.

He was once asked: “Artemy, you are so successful. Tell me, how do you motivate yourself?” And he replied: "No way, stay in the ass." I understood this idea back in the years 16-17, then I didn’t know what motivation was, I simply understood that the state of things in which I am now, does not suit me at all.

The first product that we began to produce was not a burger at all, it was a gyros - Greek shawarma. We did not start on how to surprise anyone, but on what pain the guests should realize.

And the pain was that everyone loves shawarma, but they are afraid to buy it in Moscow. We took the best part of the chicken (a thigh without skin and without bones), re-invented all the ingredients, all the marinades, famously packed. It turned out not just shawarma from fashionable guys that looks safe, it was really safe.

Throughout the summer season of 2014, we sold gyros at outdoor events such as "Picnic Posters", "Alpha Future People" and so on. Almost all the proceeds bought another food truck.

While Denis kept his main job (and worked at Gyros for Heroes on the weekend), I was fully engaged in the project and after the end of the season I again fully tasted downshifting and decided that this was the last such winter in my life, I’m more like that I don’t want to - there should be a restaurant next year. In the middle of summer 2015, I gathered a team and said: “I have news for you. The good news is that by the end of summer we will earn money to open the first cafe. We will not open another Gyros for Heroes. There will be burgers.

What will we be called? Of course, Burger Heroes "

Igor Podstreshny, co-founder of Burger Heroes: “If the colonization of Mars begins, we will open there too”

Photo: Press Service Archive

I have always believed that only the lazy does not make burgers - this is a very simple and understandable product. But having tried all these burgers, I realized that the topic was not disclosed ... low quality, weak competitive environment.

Could come and do better. The issue of quantity has not yet flowed into quality, and we should have become this very qualitative change. We called a chef who was very knowledgeable about products to come up with a menu, and said: “Cyril (Kirill Kuznetsov. - Approx. ), you have no restrictions, take the best products, the most sophisticated technology.

The main thing is to make it delicious. " His professional approach plus our free brief allowed us to make a really cool product.

Igor Podstreshny, co-founder of Burger Heroes: “If the colonization of Mars begins, we will open there too”

Photo: Press Service Archive

First the problem was that we did not agree in life with a partner, and we had to leave. Denis left, Olga took his place (Olga Korneeva. - Approx.

Aut. ). She had already worked in the restaurant business for about 15-17 years, and the most difficult period was quite easy for us, because Olga, as the operations director, knew how everything should be arranged. If this decision had not been made, then everything would have been different. Most likely, the maximum would be a small 2-3 burger with jumping quality.

In a 1,000-ruble check in any cafe on the street 200- 250 rubles - rental. We decided that we rented the premises cheaper, and we just put the released money into the quality of the product. You can climb only to the 2nd floor, it’s not difficult, it’s even useful, and your rational advantage will be in better products from which the burger is made. As a result, you will spend the same money, or maybe even less.

I was afraid that on a network scale we would lose our charisma , uniqueness, we will turn into something impersonal and definitely not progressive.

In fact, it’s the creation of the network that allows you to maintain this uncompromising attitude and adherence to your values, because when you start to be a network, you start to greyhound (in a good sense of the word ) You can dictate the terms yourself, because everyone wants to work with you, everyone wants to be your supplier, your landlord.

When there was one establishment, we faced a problem: a large number of tasks needed to be delegated to someone, and there was not enough profitability to hire people and pay them salaries. It's a vicious circle. We decided to hire executives to create processes in the company, we needed more and more employees to close all areas. Therefore, we needed 5, 6, 7 .

.. burger, and I think that we will reach at least 25 (Now there are already 12 Burger Heroes cafes. - Approx. Aut.

).

Igor Podstreshny, co-founder of Burger Heroes: “If the colonization of Mars begins, we will open there too”

Photo: Press service archive

Our first audience was rebels and creators, very creative people. But there were several more of them than we expected, so we had to open a second and third cafe. A brand always enters the market through innovators who then share with their friends and family. As a result, we entered the life of the middle advanced class and became available for completely different audiences.

For me, the biggest recognition was to find out that people come with their parents to Burger Heroes. Because to bring a family somewhere, especially a mother, is the maximum level of trust.

Igor Podstreshny, co-founder of Burger Heroes: “If the colonization of Mars begins, we will open there too”

Photo: Press service archive

  1. Welcome. We first check any action that it brings to people good or not. For example, hang a sanitizer who sanitizes hands, is that good? Yes, therefore, you see, we have it.

  2. Honesty. We honestly talk about our food bones, we honestly put a margin on the product, and most of the people who come back to us (which is about 90% of the guests) will say that the price-quality ratio is perfect. It is felt in the products, it is felt in the taste.
  3. Freedom from stereotypes. Working with stereotypes is a rather difficult task.

    But stereotypical thinking often kills innovation. It was previously believed that a person can not move at a speed above 55 km / h. What do we see now? Not so long ago, the Concorde flew at a speed of 1,300 km / h.

  4. Awareness. Each person in our team knows exactly what he is doing in his place, he really understands why to turn the patty every 30 seconds or why fry the buns to a crispy skin.

    We do not say: “It is necessary. Do it”, but explain what is the point. You can go in two ways. Describe most of the rules, but the likelihood that there will be some new situations that you did not take into account is high. But there is another way: agree on the principles of decision making.

    And there are 3-5 such principles: and all situations in people will go through this decision-making filter.

  5. Development. Development in terms of knowledge, taste palettes. We are moving away from a standard burger consisting of lettuce, tomato, meatballs, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise. We do not have such recipes.

    A lettuce leaf, for example, adds excess moisture - it is simply tasteless. We constantly come up with new dishes, once a month we introduce a new burger, now we update breakfasts.

Igor Podstreshny, co-founder of Burger Heroes: “If the colonization of Mars begins, we will open there too”

Photo: Press service archive

From time to time I give lectures at a business school and first of all I try to explain to all young entrepreneurs that people are not idiots. You can cheat once, but the second time will fail. I talk about the conservatism of consumers, that people are very closed in their decisions and closed in opening a new one, very loyal to brands, and if they really love something, then it will be a long time.

I explain that people do not pay with money, but with their labor, time, life. When the buyer pays at the checkout, he pays for the product with his well-done labor and expects the same in return. Here it is, honesty of exchange.

I am very pleased when I receive genuine, sincere feedback. For example, I’m going on the subway and I hear a girl on the phone say: “Let's go to Burger Heroes, it’s so delicious there, I adore them.

” For me, this is a balm for the soul. Those values ​​that I lay down work, people get them and use them for their own good.

The scale of my ambitions is global. In the next 5-7 years, Burger Heroes plans to go beyond Russia. And if the colonization of Mars begins, then we will open there.

The first burger on Mars will be Burger Heroes. Elon Musk decided to fly to the end of his life, but he is older than me) ...

Igor Podstreshny, co-founder of Burger Heroes: “If the colonization of Mars begins, we will open there too”

Photo: Press service archive

.

Search

Related Articles