The newest burger joint in Dubai cooked up quite a crowd for its official opening.
People lined the streets outside The Burgr Factory, located in Jumeirah, on Wednesday, for a taste of the Romanian brand's popular offerings.
The restaurant has been hinting at its launch in the UAE for weeks, and its arrival came with much fanfare. Apart from distributing free burgers to those lining up, it had another big calling card: creating a giant 68-kilogram burger at the venue.
“It’s going to have a little bit of everything: fries, cheddar sauce, mozzarella sticks, fried chicken – you name it,” said Alin Ciobanu, The Burgr Factory founder who goes by the moniker “The Bossman”.
“The buns have been specially made by our factory here; I told them to make the biggest size their oven would allow. I already made a 60kg burger back home in Romania, we are professionals. And I know that Dubai appreciates these things. After all, what’s more entertaining than seeing a giant burger?”
The answer to that might be eating it. Ciobanu, who had to spend an hour searching for a saw big enough to cut the sandwich, distributed it to passers-by.
The Burgr Factory: from Romania with love
As Ciobanu attests, the brand is no stranger to creating larger-than-life concoctions. A scroll through its social media pages reveals some truly gargantuan creations, with burgers that have so many fillings they have to be held together with a steak knife.
The brand was conceptualised by Ciobanu in Romania after his previous restaurant ideas didn’t pan out.
“With other restaurants, I would rely on the chefs, the staff, everybody else. And then, if the chef were to leave, the entire restaurant would get pulled down,” he tells The National. “So when it came to The Burgr Factory, I didn’t want to rely on anyone. I’m the chef, the owner, the guy on social media, the one behind all the recipes.”
The first branch of The Burgr Factory opened in Constanta in 2017, and was swiftly followed by three more restaurants in Bucharest over the past few years.
“What makes The Burgr Factory so different is that it’s not just another burger restaurant, it’s a whole experience. A lot of the recipes are inventions of mine with ingredients you never thought would come in a burger. A lot of people come in with their cameras already on to take photos,” says Ciobanu, who showcases these giant creations on social media.
The Burgr Factory follows an emerging trend of restaurants in the region driven by Instagram-famous chefs and founders (Ciobanu himself has about 75,000 followers on Instagram).
“It’s important how we treat our customers. I’m in direct contact with everyone, I don’t let anybody manage my social media,” says Ciobanu.
On launching in the UAE
When opening branches in Bucharest, the restaurateur took things up a notch with eccentric social media campaigns, YouTube videos and burger-eating competitions.
“Once I made it in the biggest city in Romania, I began to look for opportunities elsewhere. I’m a person who always wants to evolve,” he says.
“That’s why I decided to open my first international branch in Dubai. Dubai is the stepping stone for going worldwide. In Romania, we didn’t have much visibility apart from social media, but Dubai is a different story.”
The newly opened branch is a humble space featuring graffiti on the walls, a counter where guests can see their burgers being prepared and other quirky elements (including what looks like a giant Monopoly board). On the menu are burgers priced from Dh57 upwards and shawarmas, with hot dogs planned for the future.
Ciobanu is keen to take the offerings at The Burgr Factory to a whole new level. “I want to make The Burgr Factory a tourist attraction in Dubai. We have a lot of plans, just wait and watch.”