Tell us about Meat:Stack
We formed Meat:Stack in 2016 to try to remedy the gap in the market between cheap burgers and the gourmet burger scene. We wanted to create a product that was of the highest quality, at an attractive price point. We started by throwing £300 each in to the pot and bought ourselves a cheap grill, some tables and a tent then headed to the Quayside Market one Sunday to see if people would like our burger creation. It was always our dream to open high street shops and we have taken measured steps towards this over the last 4 years, including pop up restaurants, a covered market stall and various large events.
What is the most rewarding aspect of running an independent business in the region?
I guess being responsible for the overall business, how we conduct ourselves, we get to set the standards of our product and how we treat our staff. After having worked for other companies in the industry it’s nice to finally be able to do things the way you feel they should be done. Also seeing customer testimonials coming back overwhelmingly positive has given us the belief and drive to keep up the highest of standards.
And the most challenging?
The hardest part was getting it off the ground and trying to break into a market that was already quite saturated. There is a lot of burger joints around so to stand out we needed to have a solid concept and to build a following was tough as everyone has an opinion on what makes a good burger.
What are the short and long-term plans for the business?
Short-term is to get this first restaurant firing on all cylinders and then look to where we could potentially open next. We have a little cult following in Scotland so that might be our next port of call!
What advice would you give to anyone with a business idea?
I think testing your market and seeing what people like/don’t like is imperative. You may think your idea is top notch but if no-one else does then you don’t have the basis for a solid business. Also, if you require staff, take your time on recruitment, try to find staff who buy into your idea as much as possible and then look after them, it will make all the difference down the line.
Pictured – Meat:Stack founders Tom Westman, Charles Mair and Allan Hyslop