Kiwi burger joint BurgerFuel tackles US
Auckland-based burger-maker BurgerFuel is ramping up the heat, having opened its first store in the US.
Saudi Arabia was the first country outside Australasia to get a taste of the Kiwi restaurant, with the first of three stores opening there in 2010. The fast food chain then expanded to include eight stores throughout the Middle East.
Its earlier plans to tackle the US hit several roadblocks last year, ending a collaboration agreement with US investor Franchise Brands in 2016.
BurgerFuel chief executive Josef Roberts said it's been a challenge, but they decided to "go it alone" and opened the US store independently.
"Like any store we open, you never know how it's going to go until you swing the doors and start trading, but we feel confident in the way that we have birthed the brand in the USA as well as all the resource and support we have provided for this historic opening," he said.
Indianapolis is the first city to get a taste of the Kiwi treats - a city of about two million people in the middle of America's Midwest.
Mr Roberts says it's only the beginning.
"We're now fully focused on getting this store pumping, and have our sights set firmly on further expansion in the USA," he said.