Serious Burger Business

This week we held the first WE LOVE FOOD “3E” event for ECE colleagues in Hamburg. At WE LOVE FOOD we all want to make sure our projects have Excitement, Entertainment and Emotion – the original founding principles of what our foodservice program is all about. We check and make sure that we are delivering on these three things. The events are designed to take the “3E’s” one stage further, as they are there to Engage, Encourage and Educate colleagues in a whole range of topics on food and beverage, relevant to their job roles, day to day business and project needs. They take people in places and spaces that they would not normally go into and provide unique access to individuals, businesses and information that wouldn’t normally be available.

The “3E” events are crafted to provide our internal colleagues and team members with a fun and interactive way of learning about the foodservice business and also getting to meet colleagues and enjoy some great food and drink, not forgetting at ECE that there is a singular purpose to become the market leader in foodservice in our locations and territories. This isn’t just going to happen, so it was with a lot of energy and enthusiasm that we set about creating the first “3E” event.

A warm welcome at Dulf’s Burger!

We decided to hold it in Dulf’s Burger in Hamburg (, a local favourite with so many people, including Julia Dibbern, Assistant to the WE LOVE FOOD team at ECE, and she was right, it was AMAZING. 30 colleagues arrived at 3.00pm to be greeted by some amazing non-alcoholic cocktails to refresh and invigorate them. I set the scene for the afternoon, and introduced the Dulf’s team. The audience were then treated to an informal, but very lively presentation on the history of Dulf’s , the culture, the product and the philosophy. We went ‘deep’ into the business, getting key information on turnover, average spends, production, service and social media, all the things that make Dulf’s such a great success. They are growing, and you can see why, as they absolutely deliver on a great burger experience for their guests.

The burgers…

After a short break for team discussions, we then were treated to a fantastic presentation from Vincent Vegan, the food truck business that moved into a permanent physical location in our Food Sky project at Europa Passage. It was fantastic to hear how pleased they are with the sales, the growth in their business and to get the great feedback on the Food Sky project. It is not often that we get to hear such nice things about the projects we work on. What was really great was that the architect for the project was sitting in the room, one of the leasing team, some of the Center Management colleagues and many others from different departments. It was really interesting to hear how Vegan and Vegetarian food is going mainstream now and how far guests are travelling to eat at Vincent Vegan. I forgot to mention that throughout the first two speeches, we were treated to a selection of the dishes available at Dulf’s, so that the whole team could experience the different approach to food, presentation, flavours and service.

…the drinks…

We then had a final short break before listening to a fantastic presentation from Friends & Brgrs from Finland, who have also opened in Hamburg with ECE and have enjoyed great success since October 2017. The business has done so well it has signed up for our flagship “Foodtopia” project in MyZeil, Frankfurt, to open in 2019. Again, it was fascinating to hear about the way they treat all their customers as ‘friends’ and how they focus on brilliant product quality by making everything in the stores, including their gorgeous buns.

So to the casual reader, it sounds like a bit of a fun afternoon with some food and drink – and you would be right, it was fun and there was food and drink, but there was also a really serious purpose to this session and the next ones that will follow. Going back to the Engage, Encourage and Educate, the WE LOVE FOOD team are really keen to extend the knowledge, skill and understanding of foodservice throughout the ECE business. We know we will deliver better projects, have better relationships and create more success if people really understand the foodservice business. The insights and information that came out of the day were invaluable and, as a bonus, team members from across our business got to engage with each other, when normally they would not do so. This will also lead to more encouragement and development of foodservice confidence in our business, because, after everything that happened at the “3E” event, we have even more people at ECE who LOVE food. That can only be a good thing…

…the sweets!

Finally, if you wanted any other measure of success on the Dulfs business, then read on. We took the restaurant on an exclusive from 3.00pm to 6.00pm. The team put a sign on the door saying there was a private event in the afternoon. The restaurant is not in a high profile location, but during the afternoon at least 100 people tried to get in to eat, and when we finally left, there was a queue of over 60 people, waiting patiently to get in. That my friends, is success on plate!

From left to right: Amir (Dulf’s Burger), Jonathan, Peter (Friends & Brgrs), Samuel (Vincent Vegan), Iman & Koosha (Dulf´s Burger)

About Jonathan Doughty

Jonathan DoughtyJonathan Doughty became known in 1993 as founder and Global Managing Director of Coverpoint Foodservice Consultants based in the UK. One of Jonathan Doughty's outstanding abilities is to design new dining areas and food courts for new and existing shopping centers. He and his team will analyze the potential of ECE's around 150 portfolio centers for new and refurbishment food projects and implement them.

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