Close
 

How one hamburger joint puts the queue back in Queenstown

  • Opinion
  • March 30, 2016
  • Vaughn Davis
How one hamburger joint puts the queue back in Queenstown
Illustration: Wade Wu

Not having a Fergburger, regular visitors to the South Island’s equivalent of Richard Scarry’s Busytown will know, is somewhat odd behaviour. Having a Fergburger, or, more accurately, spending 59 minutes queueing for a Fergburger then five minutes eating it, is right at the top of the list of What You Do in Queenstown. 

Call me curmudgeonly (if Hamish Keith can do without the epithet for a moment), but if I’m only spending 48 hours in Queenstown, I’m not going to spend one of them waiting for my dinner.

Plenty of people, however, are. Fergburger’s fame is worldwide and at almost any hour of the day or night (Google helpfully suggests trying before 9am or after 2am for slightly shorter wait times) you’ll see the, mostly-foreign, hopeful and hungry mooching about its one Shotover Street outlet.

Meanwhile, two streets over, things are a little less frantic. At nearby Devilburger (tell them I sent you!) you can buy burgers that are just as big, just as tasty, just as quirkily named and cost almost exactly the same, only there’s hardly ever a queue. Devilburger has an 86% positive rating on Tripadvisor, plenty of seating, an open fire for winter, and a chip portion policy that suggests they’re in league with Big Potato.

But no queues.

So what’s with Fergburger’s success? And why are its mostly-excellent competitors left so far in its wake? 

Quality food is just part of it. According to Tripadvisor, there are 18 better places to eat in Queenstown. 18! [And now 19! - Ed] Location counts for something – Shotover Street is the main drag. But Queenstown is tiny, and in the time it takes to wait for a Fergburger you could walk from one end to the other half a dozen times.  

What Fergburger has that the competition doesn’t is a story, and a story that plays especially well to overseas visitors. A burger joint in a small town at the bottom of the world so good that people queue for an HOUR to get one! Can you believe that? They even provide sunscreen to stop you getting burnt while you’re waiting (coming soon: a cart selling burgers to eat while you’re waiting for your burger). And there’s only one. You can’t buy these burgers in Manhattan, Camden or Bondi – only Queenstown. But thanks to Lonely Planet, Tripadvisor, Yelp and countless travellers’ Facebook pages and Instagram accounts you can read about them there, and drool over the photos wherever you are.

What Fergburger has also done is turned a negative into a selling point. To quote The Otago Daily Times: “Queuing for a Fergburger is a ''must-do'' for many visitors to Queenstown.” That’s “queueing” for one, not “eating” one. It’s not the only downside. Fergburgers are expensive, and while Queenstown is mildly hard to get to for a New Zealander, it’s insanely distant for a New Yorker, making the story even more impressive to your friends back home. 

What can a business unlucky enough not to be Fergburger learn from all this? Don’t stop at the ingredients that go into your food (or your equivalent) – any rooster can match that. What matters even more is delivering your customers the ingredients that make up a great story.  

Oh, and if you do want to give Fergburger a try without the wait, here’s the trick (thank me later): just ring up, place your order, turn up when they tell you and you’re off home with a bag full of greasy goodness and none of the waiting – but nowhere near as good a story.

This column was originally published on Idealog.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

What the investment community thinks Kiwi businesses lead on the world stage with

  • News
  • July 16, 2019
  • Idealog
What the investment community thinks Kiwi businesses lead on the world stage with

Every business goes through a life cycle: start-up, growth, maturity and renewal, rebirth or decline. Once you’ve made it past the juicy, creative ideation stage and into the growth and maturity stage, the time for many comes to seek investment. But what do investors look for beyond a commercial return? And what do investors think New Zealand companies excel at when compared to our neighbouring countries around the world? Executive director of the Angel Association of New Zealand Suse Reynolds shares her top tips for those who are looking for investment.

Read more
 
 

Foodstuffs’ Baden Ngan Kee has passed away

  • Who's Where
  • July 16, 2019
  • The Register team
Foodstuffs’ Baden Ngan Kee has passed away

Foodstuffs has announced that its former executive Baden Ngan Kee has passed away after a battle with lung cancer.

Read more
 
 

2 Cheap Cars fined $438,000 under the Fair Trading Act

  • News
  • July 14, 2019
  • The Register team
2 Cheap Cars fined $438,000 under the Fair Trading Act

Used car dealer 2 Cheap Cars has been fined $438,000 for its use of “warranty waiver” documents and marketing statements described as “deliberately misleading”.

Read more
 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

Retail's new best friend

  • In association with the IHA Global Innovation Awards (GIA)
  • July 13, 2019
  • Anne Kong
Retail's new best friend

As the heart and soul of retailing further evolves, stores and the essence of shopping will continue to morph in unimaginable ways. However, amidst the storm of change, there is one aspect of shopping that remains pure, constant and motivational – the aspirational moment. Anne Kong, member of the GIA expert jury, shares her thoughts.

Read more
 
 

Bendon looks to sell brands after financing falters

  • News
  • July 12, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Bendon looks to sell brands after financing falters

Bendon lingerie is looking to sell some of its brands as the future of the company becomes more uncertain.

Read more
 

Smirnoff Pure helps Kiwis discover local artists with Spotify partnership

  • News
  • July 11, 2019
  • Caitlin Salter
Smirnoff Pure helps Kiwis discover local artists with Spotify partnership

The music we love is made up of many influences, including where we live. In its latest campaign, Smirnoff Pure and YoungShand tapped into the unique vibes of New Zealand and set out to help Kiwis discover the music that moves the cities and suburbs they call home.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}