By Hans Ebert

Many have tried and many have failed: to give Hong Kong the best burger. There’ve been attempts at the Haute Cuisine Burger, The Great Veggie Burger, the Fitness Burger, the Curry Burger, the Great Gatsby Burger, the Flying Saucer Burger etc etc with, in the end, most returning to that old faithful McDonald’s Big Mac.

Having been the Director of Creative Services when in advertising and part of the McTeam that launched the Golden Arches in Hong Kong led by my wonderful client, friend and eccentric and wacky as a fox late Daniel Ng, below, and with a Degree in French Fries from Hamburger University in Oakbrook in Chicago- seriously-I have seen just about everything to do with hamburgerology.



When I first met Manu Lee, below, a couple of years ago to discuss some new opportunities for an all-girl band performing at one of his clubs in Wanchai, my eyes rolled back when he was more interested in talking about his unbridled passion to give Hong Kong its very best burger. It came from his years in college in the States. And so I listened to him explain the quality of the beef, the ingredients and taste and location.

Being a natural born boogie and cynic, I couldn’t see any of this happening because I had heard it all before and nothing ever amounted to anything more than pipe dreams. But as I have learned over a very short period of time, when Manu talks, he means business and this business is now served with the advertising promise that his Burger Joys brand is “Happiness you can taste”.

It’s no idle boast. You can taste the happiness. It’s infectious. Burger Joys is a seriously good taste sensation in every bite. And this literally word of mouth marketing- and Manu’s ability to use social media more effectively than anyone I know in town to create brand value- has not only got people talking, it has made Hong Kong see possibly the most successful marketing of a new Made In Hong Kong product with international appeal.

From the one outlet in Fenwick Street, Wanchai, Burger Joys recently opened in the more funky and younger and creative Sai Ying Poon in Central.

With a very careful and well thought through expansion programme, the brand is improving its home delivery service and with new products and business streams on the cards.

In a city once known for its “Can Do” spirit, this get up and go entrepreneurship has either got up and gone or is thin on the ground.

For some reason, Hong Kong has not only slowed down, but apart from falling back on old ideas and another Me, Too business like another club or restaurant which has reached saturation point when it comes to consumer appeal, what one is seeing more and more are vagaries- not fully fleshed out ideas, convoluted thinking, much talk about investors and partners here, there and everywhere. But where’s the beef? There is none. It’s listening to people grasping at straws.

The only beef and chicken and garlic fries and black truffle fries and onion rings and spicy buffalo wings are at Burger Joys.

Burger Joys is much more than “another burger outlet”. It’s a very good example of being focused, and making Can Do actually happen.

Hong Kong today needs more of this entrepreneurial thinking. It needs more happiness and more joy, and while we wait for this to happen, get your fix of Burger Joys.

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