A purely Bahraini brand that has been the talk of the town; Blaze Burgers offer mouth-watering flavors and a unique dining experience.
Startup MGZN had a little chat with the brains behind the burgers, young entrepreneur Abdulla AlAbsi
How long has Blaze Burger been open for?
Blaze had opened on January the 30th in 2011 and we recently celebrated the 2nd anniversary.
Where did the idea of Blaze Burgers come from?
I’ve always believed that one day I was going to start my own business. I checked different business opportunities and finally found that there is a significant gap in the market for burgers and casual dining. It is either the cheap fast-food burgers or expensive quality burgers at 5 stars hotels and first-class restaurants. So why not serve quality burger, use fresh ingredients, make it from scratch and serve it in a casual atmosphere?!
How did you translate your idea into a fully-working business?
One vital step is to write down your idea in the form of a feasibility study which will evolve into a workable plan. It is never wrong to go into a business or embark on a venture where you have little or no knowledge of. Do your homework and do whatever is needed to enrich your knowledge in that field.
How did you finance the project?
I used two main sources, my personal equity, and a bank loan. I had provided Bahrain Development Bank with a feasibility study that was based on facts, thorough analysis and strong arguments about the success of the project.
Did you make use of any of the support programs available for entrepreneurs?
I got a partial funding in the means of a loan through Bahrain Development Bank with a subsidized interest rate by Tamkeen.
How did Blaze Burger become so popular in a short time?
We do not compromise when it comes to quality and we aim to provide the best product to our customers. We also do a substantial effort to improve and we always seriously listen to feedback. We started with a very basic menu and with time our offerings had grown according to customers’ feedback. You can say that foodies and not chefs created the Blaze menu.
Do you have any mentors who provide you with guidance and advice?
I regularly consult people who are knowledgeable in specialized fields such as marketing, accounting, social media and even cooking. I also take advice from anyone who is willing to offer it. You never know where you’ll get the next big idea from.
What has been the biggest milestone for Blaze burgers?
Within 2 years of operations, we have gone through several noteworthy milestones. First, we had been honored to receive Social Media achievement award from the Information Affairs Authority and we received an award from the Social Media Club to recognize our effort in social media marketing. Recently, our enlistment in tripadvisor.com had really given us a perspective of our status in the industry and also created a challenge for us. Now we are voted the 1st in American/burger cuisine and the 9th among 152 fine restaurants listed.
What are your plans for Blaze Burger in 2013?
We are planning a new menu by the second half of the year. This menu will have a wider selection of products and we are doing our best to cater to a vast variety of tastes. Also, I am working on a new pizzeria project where we are taking a totally different approach to pizza. It will be shocking, unique and tasty.
What were your biggest lessons learned which you think other startups can learn from?
Always prepare for the worst case scenario and don’t let your passion overwhelm your business decisions.
A final message for our readers?
Starting a business needs lots of patience and requires a serious commitment. Failures and hardship are the prices you pay to achieve success.