Starting out in business is never easy, and the food industry is especially tough. The last year has been particularly difficult - repeated lockdowns and a total shift in how we live, work and socialise have turned business on its head.
This hasn’t deterred everyone, and that includes Zubair and Shanaz. This husband and wife duo started Smash N’ Slide in 2020 despite the many additional challenges the year threw at them. Their West London smash burger business has gone from strength to strength, fueled by passion, creativity and plenty of hard work.
On the hunt for the perfect burger
Many great businesses are created as a result of one person looking for the solution to a problem they themselves were experiencing. In the case of Smash N’ Slide, the journey began as a quest to find the best possible burger. “We live and breathe burgers but we were always having to travel out of the area or even abroad to get our favourite burger fixes” says Zubair.
Sometimes, the solution to the problem is to just do it yourself, so they started making their own burgers. They quickly realised that there was an appetite for what they were creating. “Every time I’d make burgers at home for friends and family the same comments used to come up ‘You should sell these burgers’.
This interest helped cement the idea of smash burgers as more than just a personal project. “I’m naturally an introvert and the idea of scaling up and making and selling burgers to the public was never on the cards, I was hardly even on social media, but after a lot of research and encouragement we finally set up, albeit in the midst of lockdowns and a pandemic.”
Setting up for success
For any restaurant business, the food is at the heart of everything. The team was clear that from the start, they only wanted to use the best quality ingredients for Smash N’ Slide. All their burgers are made from 100% grass-fed, 28-day dry aged beef. With so much focus on ingredients and technique, it’s important for all the other parts of the business to work smoothly so they can concentrate on their delicious product. That’s where Square comes in.
“Since joining the Square platform it’s made life so much easier! The online system is so intuitive building an entire ecommerce website took less than a day, and the setup suited our business model and ordering process like a glove! There’s a great online community to bounce questions and ideas off, and to top it off, their support is so responsive which has allowed us to be much more efficient and focus on what we’re really good at… making burgers!”
In such an unpredictable year, and with plenty of uncertainty still around about how businesses will reopen, Smash N’ Slide also uses Square tools to add some certainty into their week by using pre-order features. “We take pre-orders online through the week where customers can select a time and date to collect their order in advance, nowadays we sell out on the weekend before we’ve even flipped our first burger!”
Building a brand step by step
From their first steps as a personal passion project to their current set up selling smash burgers for pick up from their home kitchen, Smash N’ Slide has got off to a great start.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, they’re building a business and a brand from solid foundations (along with a mouthwatering Instagram profile showcasing their food.) “We officially started trading in late 2020 which was still a very worrying time for everyone, but we thought if we can survive this, we can survive anything! It’s had an amazing reception right from the beginning and we have developed a great customer base which is ever growing.”
“Our aim was never to sell as many burgers as we can, but to build a brand and serve great food and the rest happened organically.”
As the UK looks forward to a summer and beyond with fewer restrictions, the team has plans to continue to grow. “We’ve recently just invested in some Square hardware to be able to take card payments in person too. We’re really looking forward to the future and growing our business and brand with the help of Square!”