Written on the 24 July 2015 by Jenna Rathbone


IT IS home to a four kilogram 'monster burger' which boasts 16 wagyu beef patties, laden with a block of cheese, and maple smoked bacon on every layer. Now Burleigh-based Ze Pickle is expanding its national footprint, taking its culinary creations across the country.

The business owners behind the thriving burger joint - Nathan Zuckerman, Aaron Wilson and Joey Day tell Gold Coast Business News they are in the midst of launching their franchise strategy for the business with a second location to open in Brisbane at the end of the year.

The Fortitude Valley location, which is four times bigger than the Burleigh site, will be run by the trio and then sold as a fully functional franchise store. 

It will then be joined by a second location in Sydney with a lease in the pipeline for Surry Hills.

"Like all franchises, they can become a bit generic and lose a bit of character," says co-owner Zuckerman, who also owns Connors Café which sits next door to Ze Pickle.

"We have decided to keep the exact same concept across the stores - the same menu, the same cocktails, and the same vibe - but all shops will be unique in some way with its quirky and weird design."

The ultimate vision is to have up to 10 franchise stores, one in each capital city, with discussions in place regarding overseas expansion.

Ze Pickle was launched in what used to be a rundown second-hand bookstore, and has grown to employ close to 15 staff with an Instagram following of close to 20,000.

Zuckerman says the first year was the hardest, adding that social media and word-of-mouth were the two biggest drivers of success for the business.

"We were just hoping to get through that first year - everyone says in small business that the first year is always the hardest and a lot can come undone during that time," says Zuckerman.

"But we all got through that first year and we were all sort of high-fiving each other. It has been three years now and all is trucking along well - it has been great."

Some of Ze Pickle best known burgers include: the Triple Loco which features three wagyu beef patties, triple cheese and maple smoked bacon, pulled pork, smoked jalapenos, balsamic caramelised onions and slaw - all served between two grilled cheese sandwiches; and the Cronut burger which features a house-made cinnamon dusted cronut, hand-pressed wagyu beef pattie, cheese, Nutella, bacon and maple syrup.

"We are always trying to push the envelope and stay one step ahead we want to be the game changers, not the followers," says Zuckerman.

Ze Pickle also offers a range of craft beer on tap along with wine and cocktails including the Bacon Old Fashioned bacon spiced rum, bitters, orange with big cube and maple smoked bacon.

The 'monster burger' costs $120 and only one person has ever demolished it in its entirety.

Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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