Behind the Kounta

How Daragh Kan, founder of 100 Burgers Group built his empire| Kounta x Open Pantry Co Podcast

From a venue that couldn’t prepare food, to a burger truck that didn’t fit in the door, to now, 17 sites, and a handful of viral Australian brands.

By Chloe Chaplin

Daragh Kan, founder of 100 burgers group, and Jackie Doran, their pubs & bars marketing manager spent some time taking us to the roots of the 100 burgers empire.

In early 2012, Myles Munro and Daragh Kan ate their way through as many food trucks and burger joints in San Francisco, New York, Austin and Miami as they could. They’d been running the Mercat Cross Hotel for a few years and were looking to launch their pub’s food offering with something interesting.

Blown away by what they saw in America, the pair came back to Melbourne and immediately started plans for building a food truck to put inside the foyer of the pub. But there was one issue: the doorway was too small to fit the truck through.

Undeterred, they took out a lease on an old mechanic’s warehouse around the corner and put the truck there. After toying with a dozen or so cuisines, Daragh and Myles decided a burger truck was the way to go. The next few months saw hundreds of burger tastings, lengthy searches for the ideal bakers, cheesemakers and local producers, and countless taste-tests with family and friends until they finally created their perfect burger. And, in October 2012, Mr Burger was born.

Now 6 years later their small project has expanded to a 17 site empire, formed of 11 diverse brands.

Listen on Spotify, or settle in and listen right here.

Here are a few of the topics we chatted about:

How to capture a following – “What’s the thing that each audience can brag about to their friends?” – Jackie Doran

“I had the hottest shot at the hot sauce festival.”

How to be a trendsetter when connecting with your audience – “Not everything we do works, but we’re pretty open to trying things out.” – Daragh Kan

The impact social media has on the success of a hospitality business.

 “I think with Mr burger it’s not a business that could have happened without social media. It was the only way for us to communicate where we were.

I feel as we have moved on there is too much reliance on social media from a lot of venues. I think there is a lot more important things to be focusing on that are being missed out; doing events, engaging with your audience not just on social media but in person, just sitting down and saying ‘hey guys how’s it going’ I think you can be over-reliant on it, and just doing social media isn’t enough.”

How to build a loyal customer base –

“For me, it’s about the experience people have in the venue, we can do things like loyalty cards and 2-4-1 deals, but it comes back to the experience in the venue.

You need to be more sophisticated rather than just a coffee card, if you’re not doing things differently you just get lost.”

Listen on Spotify, or settle in and listen right here.

@kountapos #poweredbykounta

Instagram post 17854584520766733 This Saturday the 25th of Jan, our good mates at @berkelo.au are hosting a big fundraiser for the @nswrfs at Berkelo Brookvale from 8am - 1pm.  There’ll be a classic Aussie barbie, a kombucha stand, raffles, prizes, music, a plant sale and good vibes galore.  We’ll be matching all proceeds raised, dollar for dollar... so get on down and get behind this great cause!
Instagram post 18097220071127875 On Sunday our friends at @thesourcemosman put on a charity event to fund the efforts of @blazeaid - a volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters.  We were very proud to be involved, matching all donations dollar for dollar, to raise a grand total of $7,000.  It’s been incredible to see how our industry has responded to support people and communities affected by the recent bushfires... shout out to all the amazing hospo brands who are doing their bit!
Instagram post 17850459445528669 Ruby Cafe now powered by Kounta. We are focused on efficiency and improving our customers experience 😀
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Instagram post 17848352134847176 As the 92nd Oscar Shortlist is released, we can’t help but think about the highly talented Good Food Guide Award Winners. Here are a few from across Australia that we’ve had the pleasure of working with. Congratulations once again! 
@sixpenny_au @rest_orana_ @fleetrestaurant @portenosydney @joyrestaurant @ishizuka_australia @millbrook.winery @pilotrestaurant @arthurrestaurant @continentaldeli @donpeppinosristorante @lankanfillingstation @lpsqualitymeats @pipitrestaurant @subogram @thegoldenpig @montrachet_restaurant @africola_soundsystem @darenbergwine @herringbone.adl @the.summertown.aristologist @atlasdining @thecarltonwineroom @congresswine @ettarestaurant @greasyzoes @harleyand_rose @hogget_kitchen @ilbacaromelbourne @ipsos_restaurant @kazukisrestaurant @the_rec_fitzroy_north @ameliaparkrestaurant