Gerald Tritt - Owner of Vera's Burger Shack
BeTheBoss: Tell us about the Vera's Burger Shack concept?
Vera’s Burger Shack is Western Canada’s premium burger brand delivering unparalleled burger bliss via the freshest, tastiest burgers, fries, and shakes around. Since 1977, we’ve grown from a single beach side concession in West Vancouver to 17 locations across British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. Vera’s has become the overwhelming fan favourite among tourists and locals alike, winning Best Burger awards in the three largest readership polls in the province for the last 10 years in a row! As our motto cheekily boasts: “ You Can’t Beat Vera’s Meat!”
BeTheBoss: How and when did you become involved with Vera's Burger Shack?
I was looking for an opportunity in the restaurant sector, tried a Vera’s Burger and knew in that mouthful that Vera’s Burger Shack had the potential to become a brand leader in the burger segment. We bought the company in 2000 and have never looked back.
BeTheBoss: What was your background prior to joining Vera's Burger Shack?
I have been in the restaurant business in various capacities since high school including time spent at a premium steak house. My business partner was playing football in the CFL when he became involved, but his family has been in the butcher business for a many, many years. You could say ‘meat runs in our bones’.
BeTheBoss: What are some of the advantages in being a Vera's Burger Shack franchisee?The advantages of being a Vera’s Burger Shack franchisee include:
- Top of mind brand awareness and excellent goodwill
- Thorough training in all aspects of operations, marketing, and business management
- Best-in-class social media marketing, and other on and offline corporate communications and PR initiatives
- Access to our considerable corporate buying power
- Extensive in-store support and assistance
- Our collegial team approach and openness to new ideas and input from franchise partners
BeTheBoss: Who is your ideal franchisee?
Our ideal franchisee is someone who values our system and processes and understands that, once we provide the requisite tools and training, our success depends on our joint dedication, hard work, and commitment to the program.
BeTheBoss: Tell us a little about the Fast Food Market?
In our local market, we’ve been pioneers and innovators in “better burger” segment. While new players both locally and internationally have since entered the market, we’ve continued to expand and have won Vancouver’s three largest Best Burger Awards 10 years in a row. At the World Food Championships in Las Vegas last year, Vera’s was the top international brand and has been invited back this year to represent Western Canada.
BeTheBoss: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?
We’ve learned that people are our number one asset - great people make great brands. We’ve also learned that in delivering the best burger experience in BC, there is no replacement for passion, commitment, and effort. We’ve also come to appreciate that if it isn’t fun, it probably isn’t worth doing. That’s why we tend to laugh a lot, play hard, and work harder.
BeTheBoss: Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?
I find inspiration from many places. I have a core group of people from within and beyond the fast casual segment, whose opinions I rely on. I also have a great business relationship with my business partner of 10 years and there is a ton of mutual trust and respect.
BeTheBoss: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
Be sure that this is what you want. Vera’s Burger Shack is a tremendous business in a growing industry. Once you’ve decided it’s something you really want, take the leap, dive in with all of your heart, and don’t look back.
BeTheBoss: In your opinion, why do you think that Vera's Burger Shack would be a great opportunity for someone?
We are a growing brand with a long history of excellence. Our brand awareness and reputation for quality are the envy of our industry. Running a Vera’s Burger Shack isn’t for everyone, but if you really want to make your mark in the burger business, you’ve come to the right ‘shack’ and we are looking forward to hearing from you!