Burger Wisconsin’s name suggests an American connection but the chain was actually founded in the Wellington suburb of Wadestown in 1989. The name was chosen to pay homage to the USA’s “Home of the Hamburger.”
Among Burger Wisconsin’s business achievements, it claims to be responsible for introducing the classic flavor combinations, camembert and cranberry and avocado and bacon, to the Kiwi takeaway market.
Purchaser Mariposa Restaurant Holdings is the owner of popular Mexican food franchise Mexicali Fresh. The chain entered the Kiwi market in 2005, and has now established 11 restaurants in the Auckland region.
Nathan Bonney, Mariposa Restaurant Holdings’ general manager, says the two companies are both very excited about the deal.
“There are strong synergies between Mexicali Fresh and Burger Wisconsin. Both operate a successful franchise model and offer fresh, premium quality, hand-prepared food, and both are committed to building sustainable businesses that offer great opportunities for their franchisees and great products for their growing list of customers.”
Bonney says Mariposa Restaurant Holdings has built up a robust franchise support and management team which can be rolled out to other brands. The 12th Mexicali Fresh store opened at Botany Junction on Monday, with others slated for Mount Maunganui, Wellington and Christchurch in the first half of this year.
Bonney also praised the management and support given to the deal and the transition by Burger Wisconsin franchisor Steve Hanna.
“Burger Wisconsin has stayed true to its original mission statement of bringing gourmet burgers from the high street to the suburbs. Grounded in all the same beliefs that Mexicali Fresh adheres too, it’s not only Burger Wisconsin’s business that attracted us, but the similar, positive culture that exists within the business.”
Conor Kerlin, “brand dude” for MRH, says gourmet burgers are a hot, high-growth category. McDonald’s is currently piloting a new initiative at its Balmoral franchise on Auckland’s Dominion Rd called ‘Create your taste’ which will bring its menu closer to a gourmet-style offering.
As for New Zealand’s other established gourmet burger chain, Burger Fuel, Nielsen figures show 219,000 New Zealanders bought or eaten its products during January. Sounds like Mariposa Restaurant Holdings is onto a winner.