Lobster is best selling dish at Burger & Lobster

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Lobster is the best selling half of the menu at Burger & Lobster
Lobster is the best selling half of the menu at Burger & Lobster

Related tags: Restaurant

Lobster remains the best-selling dish at Goodman Restaurants' Burger & Lobster chain managing director Simon King has told BigHospitality. 

Speaking to us exclusively for our latest In Operation with... video​, our behind-the-scenes look at the daily operations within some of the UK's best restaurant groups, King reveals that its lobster dish, supplied steamed or grilled, outsells its Nebraskan beef steak burger at all sites. 

"Lobster is the out-and-out winner," he said. "It varies from site to site. At Soho lobster makes up to 75 per cent of the menu whereas in Manchester it is lower, at 60 per cent. We've found no rhyme or reason why the amount differs, it's just personal preference, but certainly lobster is the bigger seller." 

Burger & Lobster's lobster is sourced from Nova Scotia in Canada, chosen because the breed is 'hardy, travels well, is fully-meated and has a good size claw'. 

"We've tried other varieties, but lobster from Nova Scotia is the best option for us," said King. 

With lobster being the biggest seller on the £20 menu, the question is, how can the growing restaurant chain continue to offer it at that price and make a profit? 

The answer is in a holding facility at Heathrow which opened last May. 

"We hold 35 tonnes of lobster in a tank there which means we can maintain supply throughout the year and when market prices increase we will have purchased it at a reduced price, which allows us to continue to supply the restaurant," said King.

Speed

Former Mitchells & Butlers retail director King, who joined Burger & Lobster as managing director 18 months ago, said the company's simple menu is key to its success. 

"You’re not in this constant cycle of menu development and training staff on new menus, so you focus all attention on the guest," he said. "We don’t change anything about what we do. We just ensure that burger we have is the best burger and the lobster is cooked to its best ability and fresh at all times. The thing we’re most concerned about is the brioche bun for the lobster roll."

Having a simple menu also allows staff to deliver orders in less than 12 minutes, especially as the majority of its mise en place, such as the lemon and garlic butter sauce and salads are prepared prior to opening.

"In Soho last week 7,500 meals were served and only three of them took over 12 minutes to go out," he said. "Timing isn’t a huge focus for us. It's mostly for us to understand if there is anything we should have done better.  

"Limited menus allow teams in the kitchen to deliver at pace, because there’s no need to remember lots of different dishes." 

Growth

All elements of Burger & Lobster's operations have helped create a successful chain, says King, who also reveals ambitious growth plans for the business.

The company will have 13 restaurants open in the UK by Christmas and three franchised businesses open around the world with sites in Kuwait and Dubai due to join Stockholm over the next two months.

It also has a restaurant in New York which opened earlier this year and is expected to be joined 'by at least one other'.

"Taking the burger fight to the US has been a real challenge, but the US could be a huge market for us and I couldn't put a number on how many we could have there," said King. 

Burger & Lobster's long-term plan is to operate up to 25 restaurants in the UK at an opening pace of between three and five per year and its international franchise business could grow to 30 sites over the next five years, said King. 

See more about Burger & Lobster's daily operations in our video here​. 

Related topics: Business, Restaurants, Venues

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