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Secrets to Restaurant Success with Simon Wanler of Bastard Burgers, Sweden

Simon Wanler - Bastard Burgers

Surround yourself with great people. Otherwise, it’s impossible.

Simon Wanler
CEO of Bastard Burgers

Simon would be a successful leader in any industry. He has a sharp mind, clear vision, and drive. But that is not what makes him different. Many CEOs have those qualities.

It is his self-awareness. He is confident but also aware of his limitations. And be bold in asking for help. Not everyone dares to show vulnerability. To illustrate this, when Bastard Burgers started to grow, Simon gathered his leadership team around the table and said:

“If we want to do this right, we may face a moment when we realise we lack the necessary skills. It could mean stepping aside for new talents. Is everyone comfortable with this possibility?”

Company over ego–That’s strong leadership.

Carl Jacobs, CEO of Apicbase, talked to Simon on The Food Service Growth Show podcast. Below are the highlights of that conversation. 

However, I encourage you to listen to the full episode on your favourite podcast channel or watch it on YouTube (There is a link at the bottom of the page). 

It is jam-packed with fantastic insights from a young CEO of a fast-growing food service company. 

💪 Fast Facts about Bastard Burgers

  • Founded in 2018
  • 75 restaurants strong and growing
  • 900 employees
  • Goals: Be the best burger in town and a brand that employees proudly wear.

✨ Key Insights

  • Culture = Team

Simon focuses on his employees’ happiness. The Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) aligns staff interests with the business’s success.

  • Be ready to adapt

The world is changing, and restaurants need to change with it. Simon has made flexibility a core quality of Bastard Burgers. That is, from an operational point of view, the brand and the values it stands for have always remained the same. 

  • Feedback = Progress

Simon implemented feedback mechanisms for customers, employees, and stakeholders. It ensures that Bastard Burgers remains relevant and competitive.

  • Efficiency = Scalability

Simon recognised the importance of strong systems, processes, and efficiency in driving growth. With this in mind, Simon decided to hire an experienced operational expert to join his team. 

  • Sustainability = Growth

The Bastard Burgers brand stands for great food burgers and street culture. In today’s business world, simply having a unique brand focusing on a particular product or segment isn’t enough to ensure long-term success. A strong brand identity is critical, but Simon Wanler understood that being proactive on important issues such as sustainability and inclusivity is equally essential.

  • Future = Digital

“Digitalisation is priority 1, 2, and 3 for us,” Simon says. This statement highlights the importance of digital transformation in their organisation. He understands the significance of digitalisation in today’s world, where technology is rapidly advancing, and businesses need to keep up with the pace of change to stay competitive. Bastard Burgers is committed to making the most of the opportunities and benefits offered by technology and innovation.

Apicbase Podcast - Simon Wanler - Bastard Burgers

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