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Innovating beyond fusion cuisine from two of our favorites bites worldwide

A new concept for one easy, tasty, and revolutionary food format named Burriamaki


Unique moments occurred in my life that I have only been able to experience and understand in the humble distance that separates the kitchen from the dining table. From a young age, I quickly understood the dedication to food as a statement of the most human intentions where we share and create unforgettable experiences.


After the COVID crisis, many sectors that operated the same way and successfully for years were aggressively forced to change. More specifically, in Spain, we could see how the online world in hospitality, which until then had been scarce, became a requirement for the survival of most of them. Months went by, and the new way for consuming and offering services/products lead to an environment of fierce competition between restaurants. Today, each customer has forty, instead of the two nearby places, bidding for them, and most importantly, they no longer buy only food. In the middle of this information era, they want good food, and they want to know who makes it, looking for the experience that makes them feel as free and comfortable to create unforgettable experiences around it.


Despite the advances, the situation after the pandemic was tragic for most hoteliers, but for us, marketing and communication professionals eager to enter the industry, it was ideal. Thanks to the market's maturity in recent months, we had more information than ever. Users and hoteliers were talking and sharing their knowledge and opinions openly on almost all social networks. Also, the technological boom did nothing but create more applications to promote the connection and closeness between the two. We saw it clear in front of this scenario, the time to launch and build something to kick in was now, but what should we create?


The desire to undertake in this world grew, so our first step was to ride the acclaimed "delivery" wave, and we started our adventure with an ambitious project of 20 ghost kitchens. Later on, the idea and the size of the project made us turn back. We realized that to keep up the maintenance and rent for 20 kitchens focused only on delivery was of high risk. To succeed, we needed restaurateurs who knew their numbers very well. Most importantly, our research demonstrated that we needed restaurateurs who wanted to do things differently to open their way in the saturated market where everyone was already arriving at delivery.


This first project helped, and without going any further, it raised all the questions that we are trying to answer today with Burrimaki.

By getting a closer look at the processes and synergies in delivery between aggregators, customers, and restaurants, we realized that the gastronomic offer in this niche was quite limited. The three points we observed:

  1. hot or freezing foods (such as pizzas, hamburgers, ice cream) run the risk of suffering a temperature change when transported at home;

  2. apart from foods such as burritos or sandwiches, the vast majority condition the mode of consumption and are not so easy to carry and transport

  3. the options by antonomasia in the Spanish market to order at home could be summarized: in pizza, burgers, and sushi.


Moreover, we came up with the idea of creating a new concept that responded to these three issues: low competition, easily transportable, and finally, that not conditioned by the temperature to ensure a unique and unprecedented experience.

From that point, we knew what we were looking for. We went crazy and creative, and following a design thinking process, we blended concepts, created new products ideas, and distilled dishes that could work. We came up with a plate derived from one that I tried in my years living in San Francisco, a futomaki, which is more or less a longer sushi that is eaten in bites. I still remember the store, and above all, I remember the line of bankers and passersby who passed through the financial district eating it while walking, sitting in the park, or with friends to eat. I tried it several times, and what caught my attention was the excellent balance that this product achieved between being fast food and a healthy, fun, and nutritious option.

Undoubtedly the concept responded to several of our lined questions; even so, we did not see that the novelty of eating sushi in bites was enough yet, so we asked ourselves again the question backward: "Instead of adapting what is already in our kitchens to the new reality where delivery is king, how can we create something that adapts to what the new reality demands?”


From there we created with our chef, a new concept that goes beyond the futomaki adding a Little twist and really merging two bites into one, the Mexican burrito and the Japanese maki, which lead us to name the venture "Burrimaki, the Japanese Burrito.”


To bring such a cool and crazy idea to real life, we needed first to create a brand that involved all the experiences we wanted to transmit through this product to the heads of our potential clients. For us, Burrimaki was more than the product you eat wherever you chose, but the reason to start unforgettable plans with the people you chose. From that point, we started to convey all kinds of canvas and processes to identify our target market and our buyer persona. Once we did that, the second step was to build Burrimaki's personality to engage and communicate with them directly.



Creating that first sense of who we were as an approximate response of who could love our Burrimaki experience was decisive in bringing everyone in the team together and guiding all our strategies, from packaging to social media to even the final menu.

In the weeks leading up to the opening, we were aware of the potential barrier of entry we were going to have compared to other food options. No one could fancy a Burrimaki because yet no one had tried it. So to go strong and prepare, we launched recruiting people for our communications and, most importantly, we spend a lot of our time finding the right staff for the location. The opportunities our customers could give us would be directly influenced by 1, the look and feel of our product, 2, the way our product communicated, and 3, the staff selling and handling that product.


Before embarking on this adventure, I used to think that to innovate; one had to be the best in the class at something. However, looking back at the last months of changes and evolutions that have brought Burrimaki, I would say that I was completely wrong. The whole Burrimaki concept is not a fortuitous discovery but the sum of two things that already worked separately, so we joined them chasing a high probability of success.

We envision Burrimaki growing globally, with the vital purpose of combining the existing flavors worldwide through its filling, offering newness and healthier options. And perhaps, most importantly, connecting with people of today, making them experienced through our brand half of the dedication and care my grandmother taught me while observing and learning from the humble distance that separates the kitchen from the dining table.


 

By Elisa Encina Galnares

Founder an CEO at Burrimaki

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