Chef Burger, the paisa hamburger restaurant that entered the elite of entrepreneurship / Semana

Chef Burger, a hamburger restaurant founded by a group of friends in Medellín, has just entered the elite of Latin American startups by joining the Endeavor global network, a group of high-impact entrepreneurs whose businesses are innovative, scalable, and replicable.

The artisan hamburger restaurant founded by the entrepreneurs Juan José de los Ríos (Business Administrator); Juan Carlos Villegas (Publicist); Iván Castaño (Business Administrator); and Juan Carlos Valencia (Studies in art and gastronomy), has seven points of sale in Medellín, two in Cali and one in Bogotá.

They also have two food trucks imported from New Orleans (USA) that have become true mobile kitchens that are mobilized in different cities at social events, fairs, universities and festivals.

Those in charge of the business explained in an interview with Dinero that this brand has managed to position itself with high-quality hamburgers with fresh and artisan ingredients, places that are designed with every detail in mind and, above all, service.

“We are pioneers and leaders in a growing market and customers recognize us as promoters in changing hamburger consumption habits. We reinvented a category and inspired many”, explained the entrepreneurs.

Photo: (From left to right). Chef Burger co-founders, Juan Carlos Valencia and Iván Castaño.

Entrepreneurship is not a new concept for this team, since they launched into this world from a very young age and spent 12 years in the entertainment business.

After a sabbatical trip through several countries, they found a great opportunity: Reinvent the category of ‘casual restaurants’ marked by changes in consumption habits in the country.

Entrepreneurs recall that in 2011 a ‘boom’ of fitness culture broke out in the country, for which consumers wanted to continue eating hamburgers but looking for healthier and less industrialized products.

This is how Chef Burger was born as an alternative offer that today is aimed at people who enjoy the simple life and sharing with friends regardless of their age or economic capacity.

However, achieving this dream was not an easy task because, as they explain, “undertaking in Colombia has great difficulties, especially due to the constant variation in tax reforms, the tax burden and the lack of regulation in lease contracts in the commercial sector.”

Despite all these difficulties, the business has had good dynamics and therefore between 2013 and 2016 it grew at an annual rate of 35%. In this way, the company multiplied its sales in that period, going from US$1.7 million to US$4.9 million.

For this year, Paisa entrepreneurs continue to think big as they plan to expand to the Latin American market where consumers have very similar habits to those of Colombians and therefore will surely understand their value proposition.

“In 2022 we want to start our expansion plan in Latin America in countries like Ecuador, Panama and Mexico,” the managers of Chef Burger advanced to this medium.

Likewise, they affirmed that the plan is to consolidate their presence in Colombia during the next 5 years in the cities where they currently operate and open new markets such as Barranquilla, Cartagena, Bucaramanga and the Coffee Region.

If everything goes as planned, businessmen would be billing some US$7.8 million at the end of this year, which would be making a significant leap in terms of income.

Earlier this month, the Chef Burger firm was selected by the Endeavor organization to be part of its network of entrepreneurs during an event held in the city of Lima, Peru.

Endeavor is a global network created 20 years ago that seeks to inspire, support and connect successful entrepreneurs so that they become high-impact entrepreneurs seeking to generate sustainable economic development in the 25 countries where it operates.

As part of the global network, Endeavor Colombia was founded in 2006 and currently has 72 selected entrepreneurs leading 42 companies. These companies generate more than 14,500 direct jobs in the country and billed $1 trillion in 2015.

After being selected, the members of the Chef Burger team affirmed that “being part of Endeavor is very valuable”, since it has made them think big and set limits that they did not see possible before.

“Being part of the most successful network of entrepreneurs in Colombia opens many doors for us and leads us to meet our great challenge in the long term, which is to be the first restaurant chain with a presence in the entire Latin American market,” they highlighted.