When Neat Burger launched in 2019, it set its sights on becoming the largest plant-based chain in the world. A few years later, their global dominance continues as they partner with Baker Street Hospitality to bring the game-changing, award-winning 100 percent plant-based chain to the United Arab Emirates.
Founded by seven-time FIA Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, Zach Bishti, and Stasi Nychas, the company announced an exciting new addition to the brand by welcoming onboard Hollywood star Leonardo Di Caprio as a strategic investor this year.
Born into a family of restaurateurs, Stasi had an incredible head start in his F&B career. He expanded his family restaurant all over the world before landing in London and working with another popular burger brand. It was through this new venture that Stasi met, Zack and the other Neat Burger partners, and the rest as they say is history.
In November of this year, the pair sat down with us at Neat Burger’s first location in Dubai located in Dubai Mall’s food court to take us for a tour of their new spot.
Zack spent fifteen years building a hospitality brand with his brother that allowed him to understand the ins and outs of social engagement, which has played a big role towards his success. Zack commented, “If you don’t have the community, you don’t have a brand. You have to keep it exciting and fresh; everyone is fighting for attention. Yu also need to have a firm foundation; people make the mistake of going for short term recognition, and yeah sure it feels good, but if you don’t build relationships with your customer, people lose interest.”
This kind of brand building has helped grow Neat Burger with Zack as the CEO and at the helm of this brand’s movements. Like many plant-based brands, Neat Burger isn’t focused on targeting vegans. Most of their customers are in fact meat eaters that want to reduce their meat intake with a high-quality plant-based burger that satisfies the same way a traditional burger does.
Neat Burger – with its commitment to not compromise on taste – offers an extensive burger product range with meat, chicken, and fish protein equivalents and has been described as the world’s first flexitarian burger brand. According to a recent report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), current forecast models indicate that protein alternatives will represent 11% of all protein consumption by 2035. Further, with some help from technology, investors, and regulators, protein alternatives could command 22% of the global market over this time frame. Stasi adds, “We want to serve great burgers, plant-based is a benefit.”
Zack shares his admiration for fellow co-founder, Lewis Hamilton, saying that he has huge respect for Hamilton for using his impressive platform to advocate for a better future. The team is very aware that this is a huge task that requires a loud voice, and they certainly have one of the most influential voices out there.
Kieran Mallon, Managing Director of Baker Street Hospitality Group commented, “Very rarely do you come across a truly game-changing concept like Neat Burger. Zack and the wider Neat Burger team have disrupted the F&B industry with their proprietary products and thanks to them the plant-based category has now become fully mainstream. With its mix of foodies, health fans and discerning tourists, Dubai is the perfect destination to launch Neat Burger and we are keen to be part of this new future focused on sustainable and climate-friendly food offerings.”
“We created Neat Burger to make plant-based options more accessible to everyone, whether you eat plant-based all the time or just want to add it to your diet every now and again. The response to Neat Burger since we opened has been incredible. I’m really proud of the boundaries we have been able to push in this space and the plans for expansion are really exciting.” Said Lewis Hamilton, Founder of Neat Burger.
Coming to Dubai was an important decision for Neat Burger, they believe that being here is a meaningful way to expand the business long term. The highlight for Zack and Stasi during the launch of Neat Burger was seeing people’s reaction to the plant-based menu, many of the customers in the store found it hard to believe that the items had no meat products, and this is the biggest compliment a plant-based brand can get.
Zack believes they are on track to becoming the world’s biggest quick service restaurant brand. He added that the team has very ambitious plans to own market share and dominate, and if Neat Burger’s track record is anything like World Champion Lewis Hamilton’s success inside the circuit, we better not blink.