Dark kitchens – also known as cloud or ghost kitchens – are taking the world by storm in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The concept is simple: food is cooked in a kitchen, sometimes shared by two or more businesses, and then delivered to eager customers.
In Faro, the recently-created Bomburgers brand is enjoying great success thanks to this concept.
Teresa Sequeira, 27, came up with the idea after she decided to temporarily close her restaurant Almare Gastrobar due to the pandemic in September.
“We became worried and did not know what to do because the menu and concept of Almare Gastrobar did not work for a take-away or delivery regime, as we worked with fresh ingredients and it would be impossible to maintain the same level of quality,” she told Barlavento newspaper.
The young entrepreneur, who studied at Portimão’s Hotel and Tourism School, knew she had to improvise to continue working.
“The three types of meal people order the most from home are pizzas, sushi and hamburgers,” Teresa said, adding that hamburgers proved to be the best option considering her kitchen conditions and staff as well as the competition in Faro.
After a two-week period perfecting recipes, the team launched its new brand of artisanal burgers, made at Almare’s kitchen and delivered to customers in the Faro area.
But what sets these burgers apart from the rest? The difference is in the quality of the ingredients, said Teresa.
“The brioche bread and the meat, which are the main ingredients and are national products from local suppliers, are of great quality. Our chips are fried in truffle oil, a premium product. Our desserts also set us apart,” she said, highlighting the hugely popular chocolate brownie with peanut butter mousse.
For now, there are five burgers to choose from: three made with beef (classic, double and bomburger), one with chicken and the other with beans (veggie).
Prices range from €7.90 to €12.90 for the burgers or €13 to €17 for menus.
The burgers are being delivered by the town’s taxi drivers, but the plan is to hire their own delivery person once the pandemic is over.
With five months under their belts, the team at Bomburgers could not be happier with the results.
“We sell over 600 hamburgers per month. We receive orders every day and since November we have not had a single night without an order. The feedback has been very good from the start,” said Teresa.
The goal moving forward is to “expand across the Algarve” and eventually open a Bomburger restaurant.
“We want to continue to grow. We are working on it, but it will take time, we don’t want to rush it as we want to see how it will be like in a post-pandemic world,” she explained.
Hope for the future
Teresa Sequeira also hopes that Bomburger will show other business owners that there are ways to overcome this crisis.
“We want to show it is possible. We were discouraged. We saw unemployment numbers go up, restaurants going bankrupt and the Algarve without a solution in sight. We didn’t want to enter that negative spiral,” she said.
“We reinvented ourselves and are living proof that it is possible.”
Orders can be placed on Bomburger’s website (http://bit.ly/bomburgersfaro). Take-away and delivery options are available between Tuesday and Sunday from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
Original article written by Maria Simiris for Barlavento newspaper.