Barry’s Burgers is the newest Adelaide Burger restaurant by the sea, bringing some fresh new flavours to the Semaphore Road foodie hub. Their killer location (right next to the beach), funky modern/minimalist restaurant and seriously good burgers are causing a stir, so we headed down recently to see what all the fuss is about.
Apart from dishing up amazing burgers using only the freshest, highest quality local produce around, we found two incredibly Inspirational Adeladies in Alinta and Caitlin, the dynamic duo behind Barry’s Burgers.
So, after an epic burger feast, far too many potato and sweet potato chips (who are we kidding, never enough) and a glass or two of fresh iced tea, we caught up with these two Inspirational Adeladies to talk about all things business and burgers.
Tell us about Barry. Who, what, where, why?
Haha…oh Barry! The name actually started out without much seriousness but then just kind of stuck. We were trying to come up with a good name and jokingly said what about something simple like “Barry’s Burgers”. We had previously also joked around with “Cafe Caitlin” (ok that one was very jokingly) and similarly “daggier” style business names. We then kind of just kept referring to the shop as “Bazza’s” as we got stuck into the fit out etc and decided to just leave it at that. We love a good pun and play on words (yes we’re a bit daggy!) and it also just happens to be a name that rhymes with lots of words and is associated with a number of interesting famous people. We enjoy coming up with burger names and ideas that play on this such as “Happy as Barry Tuesdays” our new $10 Burger & Beer Night. Our graphic designer also suggested we could call one of the burgers “When Barry Met Sally” which we think is hilarious.
Why burgers? (Apart from the deliciously obvious!)
We wanted to bring something to Semaphore that wasn’t already on the strip. We also felt that burgers are a good beachside bite – they can be taken away easily to be enjoyed on the foreshore (as with our chips and salads). We also thought being so close to the beach, the site was a great location to be able to also offer beers along with burgers as a burger and a beer on a warm day is a great combo. And yes, burgers are delicious!
What made you choose Semaphore?
We LOVE Semaphore! We are both from around the area and love being near the ocean and in particular the extremely relaxed vibe of the street. It is so nice to be able to go for a quick walk or swim before work. Sometimes it feels like you could walk down the road in your pyjamas and no one would look twice. While it does get pretty pumping over the summer holidays period, during the rest of the year there is quite a community feel. You tend to see the same people and can build up relationships with regular customers which is nice.
What do you think is the most important thing to make a burger awesome?
To us the most important elements are freshness and quality. We get our meat in fresh daily from our local butcher and form the patties every morning so they are never frozen, same goes for our buns. We love the crunch of fresh lettuce and the tastiness of good quality veg produce. We are so lucky to have so much good food in SA so try to use as much of this as possible. All our burgers are also made to order, therefore while it may take a little longer than typical “fast food” we like to think it’s worth the wait. And of course enjoying the burger medium – when the juices are dripping out, that is what is delicious!
What’s the most popular burger/flavour combo?
The most popular burger by far is the Baz Deluxe. People seem to really like the combination of the sweet onion jam (homemade) balanced out by the salty bacon. We are doing a chicken and haloumi special at the moment which has also been a hit. There are quite a few vegetarians in the area so we are also serving up lots of our haloumi burger, which is the most popular vego option. We like to think we’re pretty understanding of dietary requirements so also offer a really good GF bun as well as vegan options.
Now, down to the business nitty gritty. What was your biggest ‘Wow!’ moment when starting up Barry’s?
We were on a tight timeline to get the shop open in time for the annual Semaphore Street Fair, which is an event that generally attracts 50,000 people. We managed to open about two weeks before and were nervous for how we would go for that day. We spent hours preparing everything and getting ready for the day and it all went really smoothly and we got lots of good feedback. It was amazing to see the shop pumping, the kitchen running smoothly and the staff having fun with the day too. The lead up to the store opening was also really fun – it is so exciting to see all the design pieces coming together and the progress that happens week by week to make the store come to life.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your own business?
As young people without many/any assets – finance! Starting a new business is obviously quite risky and this is definitely the view the banks take. It is really difficult to get finance approved without offering security so the options can be limited. We tried to be over prepared for bank meetings and made up folders ready with all our information and answers to questions we thought the bank may have. You have to be prepared to work pretty hard to make those repayments during the first few years as the terms for riskier loans are typically shorter and of a higher interest rate. The struggle to get finance does, however, help make us more determined to make our business successful.
Did/do you have a business mentor? Who has been most influential for you when starting your business?
We are always inspired by other young business owners and cafes/restaurants we enjoy going to. It’s always nice to chat to business owners and we find people are generally happy to share tips and useful contacts. We love checking out new places, particularly when on holiday and always pay attention to the details – how does the store look, feel, pricing, how many staff are on, how long did we wait etc. This helps to inspire us to improve our own business when we get home. Melbourne is a good one for this as the hospitality standard is so high.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting their own new business?
Make sure you are getting into something you enjoy and are passionate about. It is a lot of hard work and many long hours but it is possible for it to not feel like “work” when you enjoy what you are doing. For us, there is no Sunday night week-ahead dread and most days we wake up happy to head into the shop and get into it. It is very satisfying to improve on how we do something or add to the store each day. Additionally, the staff you hire, particularly the inaugural staff are so important as the first few months can feel a bit haphazard. We are so lucky to have a team of legends who make long days at the shop fun and generally want to help make the business a success.
So to all you lovely Adeladies out there looking for your next burger fix, we recommend heading down for Barry’s $10 “Happy as Barry Tuesdays” for lunch or dinner. Enjoy your favourite burger, a refreshing beer or cider, and Semaphore’s chilled beachside vibes. And don’t forget to say hi to Alinta and Caitlin!