Main Khayaban-e-Badar ,26th Street, Phase V DHA. That’s where we were supposed to find BYOB (Build Your Own Burger) according to Karachi Snob. After searching high and low for that elsusive, including calling them on the number provided by, who else, Karachi Snob, we ended up at Texas Burger which is adjacent to where BYOB was supposed to be. Yep, the BYOB people closed shop a while ago according to neighboring shopkeepers.

Texas Burger
Texas Burger

And by the look of things at Texas Burger, it seems that they’ll have to follow suit. And not because they suck at making burgers. On the contrary, Texas Burger has one of the best offerings in terms of taste, quantity, and most importantly price, especially when you consider where it’s located. Any eatery even remotely upscale in this neighborhood is going to cost you a fortune, irrespective of whether it manages to tantalize your taste buds or satiate your appetite. Most of the time it would do neither.

Texas Burger
Texas Burger

Texas Burger on the other hand had a taste that was truly remarkable. The Super Star Double decker beef burger had two patties that although weren’t large enough length-wise to cover the bun, but were enormous width-wise, the fattiest I’ve ever seen. But that wasn’t the end of it, they were delciously succulent without even an iota of ‘hiing’ that one associates with all things beef that aren’t well-done, a drawback which is found in so many of the local fast food joints. The chicken fillet burger was your usual rip-off of the Zinger burger, but just as good as its beef counterpart.

Texas Burger
Texas Burger

The burgers were loaded with just the right amount of salad and were truly sumptuous. The size of the offering? Not enormous but enough to satiate the appetite of a normal human being stomach. The fries although good were not enough. One thing missing was the lack of any sort of sauce with the offering. Even indulge has come up with a dip sauce to go with its burgers, and although the ideal thing to do would be to serve cole-slaw (the darling of any pakistani fast food offering) with it, at least a sauce of some sort ought to be served.

The price? Well, not exactly cheap, but reasonable considering the location. The double decker with fries and drink was 190 whereas the chicken fillet was 170. Not bad at all.  The menu wasn’t all that diverse, although there was a fish platter and a prawn platter, both priced at Rs. 325. Apart from that, there was the usual KFC-esque offerings, all priced more or less the same.

Texas Double decker hamburger
Texas Double decker hamburger

In that context, Texas Burger certainly rocks. Unfortunately, a fast-food joint that wears a deserted look on a Saturday night, (there was literally not even a waiter manning the counter!), is not going to last long, no matter how great the offering.  Yes, word-of-mouth is slowly going to build up if they continue to churn out such good stuff consistently, but the problem is, without a semblance of marketing effort, it’s going to take quite a long time to build up customer following, and operating in an expensive commercial area for that long is not going to be feasible unless something happens soon.

Crispy Burger
Texas Crispy Burger

So it goes without saying that you’ve to do some sort of marketing to catalyze word-of-mouth action.

Here are some of the cost-effective things Texas Burger could do:

It already has many different deals. Offer either the same deals or different combinations of them at reduced prices but odd hours. For instance,  Subway has the Sunday mid-afternoon Buy 1 Get 1 free deal. Something along those lines to entice consumers to try the brand. It’s imperative that these deals should be having the same portion size as the normal deals so that the consumer who is already susceptible of such tactics employed by even the foreign franchises, does not feel taken advantage of.

Create a lucky draw whereby customers are encouraged to fill in details about themselves in a form which is entered in a draw. The prize, of course, is going to be a free meal (of substantial size). This way, it could build up a customer database as well as offer a pleasant experience to the winners.

Advertise the different schemes and offers on banners and stands placed in front of the restaurant, as well as create flyers which can be distributed inexpensively at traffic signals and even to people coming out of the mosque (located in the vicinity of the DHA area) after Friday prayers. I know it’s a crude method- a fast food joint promoting itself on flyers distributed to Namazees, but sometimes you just have to jack up sales the desi way.

Create a marketing alliance with some other restaurant or shop. Offer them free food in return for diverting traffic your way.

Don’t stay static. Keep on coming up with new products to pique the interest of the consumer.  You don’t need to create a groundbreaking report. Just nifty innovations here and there, like a jumbo two-in-one beef and chicken burger, or a Mayo Garlic Burger. You could have millions of combinations like these at no extra cost.  Always look to be trying something new so that the consumer keeps on coming back to check out what’s new.

Come up with a customer feedback form that specifically asks the customer what item did he have and whether he enjoyed it or not. Customer feedback is crucial to any business, even more so for a small restaurateur to know precisely what the customer liked or disliked. And then tailor the offering according to it.

Come up with loyalty and privilege cards.    They’re a great way of keeping your customers coming back for more. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out. For instance La Pizza Pie had a good pizza offering with a membership of Rs.500 that was in essence a Buy 1 Get 1 free scheme. A good business and a good marketing tactic. But for some inexplicable reason, it didn’t work out for them and the joint shut down after hardly six or seven months. Still this is a must. Just because that restaurant closed down doesn’t mean that the loyalty card was not effective.

Texas Burger has a tremendously good offer, and it should try to capitalize on that with the help of some good old marketing.