Changing the landscape of fast-food; championing a product that is as affordable and practical as it is quality, traceable and fun.
Keep up with our campign across our social platforms:
Iceberger was started by three friends – at a total cost of £1500 – with a simple mission: to serve fast-food that is great quality, practical, fun, and doesn’t cost the earth. Starting out from a parking bay in Brighton’s backstreets we have steadily gone from strength to strength. Having achieved so much within our first year of trading, we are now dreaming about what our future may hold.
Our humble beginnings
In Britian there seems to be a tendency for fast-food to either be incredibly cheap and nasty or a self-styled gourmet. And quite often that means that a lot of the values traditionally associated with fast-food, such as practicality, affordability, and fun are lost. Iceberger was started in 2015 by three friends with the mission of filling that vast void, serving fast-food that is of a great quality, practical, fun, and doesn’t cost the earth.
Having talked about starting a food-related business for long enough, we took the plunge and spent our savings on our very own Piaggio Ape – plucked from the heart of Germany. It was a great road-trip that took us across some beautiful European landscape. Travelling to Germany and back in 24-hours transpired to be the easy part; only when we were back home did the scale of what lay ahead sink in. Refurbishing our van, creating a spanking brand, deciding on a menu and sourcing produce as a three man team took several months. We went back-and-forth over buns and meat, falling so deep down the rabbit hole that they no longer seemed at all different, before returning to two very good selections that have not changed since.
July 2015 saw our first day of service from one of Brighton’s backstreets. We started out very small, selling a handful of burgers each day, but rain or shine we were there and a loyal customer base was built. The first time that a customer returned for another burger was incredibly satisfying and we doubt that feeling will ever get old. Things have grown steadily from the beginning and we now operate from two vans. The driving force behind our growth and progress has undoubtedly been the dynamic of the product overall, taking in the quality of the product and the price at which it is sold.
Food Awareness in Fast-Food.
There is nothing more important than that balance between the quality of produce and the price the customer should pay – essentially value for money. This balance underpins both the viability of a business and the customer experience, being particularly important within fast-food as it is often a game of fine margins. We went to great lengths to discover suppliers that could not only deliver the quality that we so desired but could do so at a price that would allow our products to remain affordable for the customer whilst still being profitable.
The cornerstone of any good burger, our beef is sourced from a local farm and is aged for 21-days before getting ground into the perfect consistency. Second in command is our bun (also sourced locally) which is very well textured, deliciously soft but still firm enough to hold everything together. A lot of experimentation went into the creation of our own sauces (more about those later) and condiments, testing and re-testing until they were perfect. These are the fundamental layers of our product and we take great pride in each of them.
This traceability of produce is a core value of Iceberger and we champion – as both customer and proprietor – the asking of questions about the food that is being served. The customer should be able to ask a cook anything that they so desire about the food that they have ordered or are considering ordering. At Iceberger we offer the customer a rare opportunity, they can see the kitchen can watch their food being prepared while they wait. This affords the ability to ask any questions that they may have and allow them to feel a part of the process.
As consumers, today we are very much more inquisitive and demanding about the food that we are eating and that is fantastic as greater pressure is put on businesses to meet those demands over time. However, there is still a lot of room to improve food awareness generally, not just within the fast-food industry. We believe that customers and proprietors should have a relationship that is transparent in nature; that can only be nurtured through openness and trust.
The future of fast-food is likely to look very different to how it has in the past, or even how it does today. There are many smaller companies, like ourselves, who are continually growing and hold values that are very different from those illicited by the big players. If these small companies continue to grow consumers will have a far greater landscape of proprietors from which to eat. Of course, values rooted in idealism that are not viable or sustainable are not much use practically. This is why we continue to put great levels of thought into the produce that we can use within our products.
Iceberger: 2016 and beyond
A lot has happened since that first burger was flipped in July 2015; we now operate two vans, have catered private events and even catered our first Iceberger wedding (very nerve-wracking)! 2016 has been extremely good thus far but we are already thinking of 2017. Iceberger is still very much in its infancy; there is still so much to do. We decided to enter to Voom 2016 and start a crowdfunding campaign to see if there are any believers that can help us along with our next steps.
- Our first flagship restaurant
We have been keeping our eyes peeled for our first fixed premises for some time. We love the streetfood experience and we will continue to serve up the same great products the streets, but we don’t see ourselves as boundIt must be the right premises; able to provide the same open-kitchen dynamic as part of an alternative dining experience for our customers. We believe that a fixed premises would increase both the quality and quantity of what we can offer our customers.
- Mass production of our sauces
That’s right, we want to bring Trinny J into your home. Plans to produce our sauces in large quantities are in their early stages, we must ensure that not a single drop of deliciousness is lost. We are starting with our Trinny J and BBQ sauces. Both have been so well received, we would love to see what uses our customers put them to at home. The very first bottles completed will be those offered as part of the rewards for our crowdfunding campaign.
- Iceberger Food Awareness Programme
Rightfully so perhaps – due to past transgressions – fast-food has a somewhat negative reputation to overcome. We strongly believe that fast-food can have a valuable place within a balanced diet. Our food awareness programme is about cultivating a more inquisitive and demanding attitude, asking the right questions of the people cooking the food that we are consuming; where is it from, how is it being prepared, what is it? This is particularly true of young children who do not yet possess definitive eating habits – they are open to influence for the better. We currently do what we can from our vans to promote food awareness but we want to reach a greater number of people with an engaging and informative experience, utilising dedicated materials. This programme is a non-profit endeavour and providing an experience that is truly informative and engaging is somewhat limited in viability presently.
Besides continuing to serve up the same great quality food on a daily basis, making progress with these three goals is our primary focus for the near future. As part of our Virgin Voom application we have chosen to run a crowdfunding campaign and are offering some fantastic rewards in exhange for your support – you could host your very own Iceberger BBQ! Any support that you can provide towards helping us with these nexr steps in our journey will be greatly appreciated.