Fast casual the next big trend when it comes to dining.
It’s the age of convenience and diners are after a quick and quality fix when it comes to food. This new trend marries the speed of the fast food industry with the excellence of fine dining, much to the delight of restaurant goers.
The rise and rise of this new way to dine has seen many well-known fine dining restaurants go for a piece of the action and grow their offering into the fast casual realm. David Chang gave New Yorkers ‘Fuku’, the Momofuku group’s new fried chicken burger bar, while local celebrity chef Neil Perry is giving Sydneysiders a taste of Rockpool with his Burger Project (found in our MLC Centre Food Court).
Rockpool – a to-know restaurant nestled in the heart of Sydney’s CBD – was the ultimate go-to for a special occasion. The local’s secret, though, was to check in for a glass of champagne and a burger at the bar. Well, it’s a secret no more: Neil Perry has taken that burger and brought it out of the fine dining realm, direct to you.
The lynch pin to getting fast casual right is quality. Quality ingredients, and quality names behind the brands serving the food.
Says Perry: “Creating a great burger – ‘the people’s burger’ – is simple: it’s all about the meat. It must have quality and integrity, and so we take whole 36-month Cape Grim grass-fed chuck and brisket steak and grind it in-house to make the patties. Crisp lettuces are leaved and washed, sweet tomatoes and juicy onions are sliced, cucumbers are pickled, and the secret ingredient for a great burger, the secret sauce, is cooked according to our own recipe. For those with a sweet tooth, we churn our ice-cream.”
Fast casual, too, brings an accessibility like never before. Perry’s Burger Project is an open kitchen, where you can see your meal being prepared.
“Everything is house-made to ensure freshness and genuine quality … This is at the heart of what we do at Burger Project.”
As Perry’s fast casual footprint grows (Burger Project can be found at seven sites and counting), so too does his commitment to the community.
“Giving back is paramount,” says Perry, “and fundraising through our restaurants has always been part of our DNA. To that end, we commit a portion of our turnover to local charities to ensure that responsibility continues.”
As more and more Australians eat out on the regular, the rise of fast causal makes perfect sense. And, in the case of Perry’s Burger Project, it does some good.