Kiwi franchise BurgerFuel takes on US market

BurgerFuel burger food business (BurgerFuel / Facebook)
BurgerFuel has had troubles breaking into the US in the past (BurgerFuel / Facebook)

After branching out to Australia and the Middle East, Auckland-based burger-maker BurgerFuel is getting its grill on 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.

Now it's headed for Indianapolis - a city of about two million people in the middle of America's Midwest.

"The wheels are in motion for our first USA based store in Indianapolis," a BurgerFuel spokesperson said.

"We're making America great again (one BurgerFuel at a time)," the company's website says.

"We've broken down walls, jumped on 95 flights (without getting dragged off), burned through months of burgers, sweat, and tears (also beers) and we're now so close to serving up New Zealand's original gourmet burger in the land of the free, home of the brave that we can taste it."

The launch is so close now the company has begun a new advertising campaign, aiming to get Kiwis to say "hello" to those in the US ahead of the opening.

BurgerFuel has had trouble trying to get into the US in the past. In 2016 it ended a collaboration agreement with US investor Franchise Brands.

Franchise Brands, backed by the founders of the Subway franchise chain, bought 10 percent of BurgerFuel for $5.9 million in 2014, with the option to increase that holding to 50 percent over eight years. It held 10 percent as of May 16, 2017.