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Got gusto for a real Hungarian burger?

A new, quality way to do fast foods – this is the aim of Gusto Burger, a Hungarian fast food chain which will launch soon, opening with an unusual assortment from cuttlefish to fine wine.

This Hungarian restaurant chain does not focus on traditional local dishes. Gusto Burger (GB), a brand new fast food chain that will open its first restaurant in a 400-square-meter parlor on Váci utca within a few weeks, as the Budapest Business Journal learned, is different. “It is founded and managed by Hungarians, and of course, we are trying to involve Hungarian suppliers – for our cakes and mini bottled Villány wines for example –, but good partnership is what really counts for us,” said Róbert Laczkó, the network manager of Gusto Burger Magyarország Kft.

“Actually, we imagine business as a multinational operation, thus, for instance, we welcome expat employees, even those who do not speak Hungarian, while we decline any offer of multinationals the moment that their products or services prove unfit or they are not cooperative enough,” Laczkó explained. “We decided to run with the motto ‘No compromises,’ as we really believe that fast food can be high quality, in terms of both the service and the food itself. But this requires similarly committed partners.”

The offerings from GB are planned much like a typical burger restaurant’s menu, spiced up with self-designed, gourmet-like specialties and a café line added in. It will also, unusually for fast food restaurants, sell alcoholic drinks: draft beer and the above-mentioned Villány wines from the Günzer winery, in 0.25-liter co-branded bottles. “Our café line will be very strong, with Italian coffee and exactly the same machines that Starbucks is using worldwide, and I believe that our potato specialties will best the competition,” said Laczkó.

The target groups GB is aiming at are less extraordinary: they want to service families and party people going home at dawn, as well as students who want a bite in the morning before classes begin. Their prices will be a little more than the fast food average, but, as Laczkó pointed out, still favorable compared to the Váci utca average.

With almost two years of preparations and more than HUF 100 million invested in the venue, GB seems to be very confident, maybe even a bit adventurous. But Laczkó said they believe that the recent change in dining habits – more people getting used to eating menus, which shows an increasing need for a quicker, yet quality dining experience at affordable prices – will provide a stable base for their enterprise.

The company is planning to open four or five further units in the next year, with Andrássy út and a busy location in Buda  among the first. The plan for the next two to three years is 20–25 restaurants in the greater Budapest area. Then they will review the options of expanding abroad. According to the chain manager, GB will not be franchised for a while, but is planned to remain as a self-managed network.
(Andrea Fazekas)