Posted by BurgerFuel

BurgerFuel store No. 58 will be firing up its grills from Monday 8th March and new franchisee, Dean Humm, is chomping at the bit to see the doors open and trading to eagerly awaiting Northland locals.

BurgerFuel Whangarei is located in the new Kensington Crossing development, a retail hub with ample parking and situated in prime positioning near sports ground, Kensington park. 

After an intensive 12-weeks of franchisee training, Covid-19 interruptions aside, Dean has been put through his paces and is now gearing up to put it all to practice, alongside his team of 10 eager staff.

On reflection of his training journey, the most challenging aspect was being away from his family (wife, Gail and sons, Mack and Ash) for extended periods of time. With short, intermittent visits home, his family showed constant support and understanding of the sacrifice, in the knowledge it was all leading somewhere very exciting. Dean needed to provide that same level of support to his young staff, who were also experiencing a touch of homesickness. He used their time away from loved ones to focus on building a strong connection as a team.

Having worked in retail for 20 years, specifically in consumer electronics, this is a completely foreign venture for Dean, with no former background in hospitality. Yet Gail and Dean had their sights set firmly on owning their own business and, being ‘foodies’ themselves, they identified early on that they wanted to get involved in a business that traded in food. Up popped a BurgerFuel franchisee advert to own the very first store in Northland, and they were in.

The appeal of owning a BurgerFuel store, was not just the product and the culture, but the security of the structure offered by a brand like BurgerFuel, particularly the robust systems and processes and having plenty of head office support.

Now entrenched in the brand and learning something new about it every day, we asked him what was the main thing that surprised him the most about BurgerFuel…

“The pride in the product at BurgerFuel has blown me away. From Chris, the ‘mad burger scientist’ developing the menu, to the operations and marketing teams that see it executed at store level and promoted in market. Then there’s the people at the coal face, delivering it to the customer. There is a real pride in what is being created and ultimately served up. There’s no compromise on the quality and that has been a really pleasant surprise”.

Having just completed the final step of staff training with a customer experience workshop, service will be front of mind for the team. Dean has a genuine love of people and is looking forward to really driving excellence in the customer service space, a passion he also developed and honed during his time in retail.

Gail and Dean will be modelling the ‘Mr & Mrs BurgerFuel’ local store marketing ethos that BurgerFuel instill in the Franchisee induction process. Deans advantage is his experience in this area, so involvement in community activities will be a natural progression for the duo, once the store is running like a well-oiled machine and they are ready to start promoting externally.

But what he is most looking forward to is seeing his four shop managers have their opportunity to take control and ownership of running the store. “They are so ready for it. I can’t wait to see them all working together and supporting each other. I am very lucky to have a solid team who I think will really bring the energy to our store’.

Dean was born and bred in Christchurch, moving to Whangarei in 2014. A petrol head, who is now a proud owner of his very own purple BurgerFuel machine, a ‘70 Oldsmobile Cutlass. The Cutlass keeps his ’75 Mini Clubman company, a lingering bone of contention for the new franchisee, “I was told that on no uncertain terms could I paint my mini purple”.

When he can sneak in some time off, you can find Dean taking a walk up Parahaki Hill or dining at the family’s favourite spot Suk Jai, a local Thai restaurant that serves up phenomenal food with loads of personality in their front of house.

Pop in to BurgerFuel Whangarei and meet Dean and the crew and check out their fresh new store. Though you’ll note Dean will be conspicuous by his absence on UFC Sundays. 

BurgerFuel Whangarei: Unit 3a, 8 Kensington Avenue, Whangarei | Ph: 09 437 0867 | Sunday - Thursday 11am - 10pm | Friday - Saturday 11am - 11pm