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04 Feb 2024

The Story of Honest Burgers

The Story of Honest Burgers

In a recent conference session chaired by Andrew McClelland, IMRG Consultant & Co-Founder of The Data Project Ltd, Tom Barton, Co-Founder and Director of Food, Quality, and Sustainability at Honest Burgers, shared key insights on the brand's remarkable growth. The session delved into challenges faced over the past few years, maintaining integrity, and addressing environmental challenges in the burger industry.

Honest Burgers: A Journey from Marquee to National Burger Brand


Key Insights:

  1. Humble Beginnings: Barton and his partner founded Honest Burgers in 2011 with limited experience and capital, driven by a commitment to delivering high-quality, authentic British burgers.

  2. Simplicity Amid Growth: Despite expanding to over 40 locations, Honest Burgers stuck to its roots, focusing on a simple menu and operations. They continued making items from scratch, avoiding shortcuts to preserve authenticity.

  3. Scaling Challenges: Scaling up while maintaining quality and company culture among hundreds of employees posed a constant challenge for Honest Burgers. It required a delicate balance of growth and improvement without overextending.

  4. Supply Chain Focus: Barton stressed the importance of supply chain transparency and sustainability. Honest Burgers developed its own butchery and embraced regenerative agriculture practices to align with their commitment to responsible sourcing.

  5. Balancing Technology and Humanity: While leveraging digital technology for efficiency, Barton emphasized the enduring importance of human connection in the hospitality-focused brand. Technology should not overshadow the personal touch between staff and customers.

  6. Building Emotional Loyalty: Barton introduced Honest Burgers' new crowdfunding campaign, inviting customers to invest. He believes true loyalty transcends transactions and aims to foster an emotional connection with customers through this initiative.

Watch the full session    More marketing tips from Tom Barton

Honest Burgers' journey from a muddy field marquee to a national burger brand serves as a testament to the power of authenticity, sustainability, and a relentless commitment to quality, providing valuable lessons for businesses navigating growth in challenging times.

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