The story of Burger Head as you know is about those 3 young fellas who after working in fine dining institutions of Sydney brought out a casual eatery to the west. That’s the short version.
The story starts with one of our owners, Josh, in 2013. After completing his apprenticeship in Sydney and working as a Commis Chef he decided to fly across the world to Europe following his wanderlust and in search for Michelin Starred Restaurant Experience. His travels led him to Stockholm, Sweden where he worked at Mathias Dahlgren a 2 Michelin Star Restaurant.
Word spread about a new burger joint called Flippin’ and caught young Josh’s ears. On a day off the team went down to check out Flippin’ and Josh’s mind was blown. For the first time ever he had tasted what a burger could be and what a burger SHOULD be. He knew this was the future.
Whilst Josh was away the Burger scene in Sydney had really taken off with the likes of Bar Luca and Mary’s gaining cult status. Upon returning home Josh tried them and realised the idea had validation in Sydney and had to start his own joint. At 21 with no resources, he had quite the daunting task.
He went back to work at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Sydney where he met our other founder Richard Borg. The two youngsters (21 & 20) both got chatting about how fine dining was dying and that GOOD casual eaterie was the way forward. They were both big fans of Mary’s and knew that they could recreate that calibre of a burger for their own joint. Josh and Richard as they both worked away at the Hyatt began testing recipes and planning what would become Burger Head. As they tested the burger scene got bigger and bigger, but they knew they could do it better. Both guys were born in and raised in western Sydney (Blacktown and Silverdale) spotted a gap in the market and saw that the West was underserved and knew that they HAD to open out west.
Again both youngsters faced with the battle of no resources to open a restaurant of their own struggled to get the idea of the ground and Richard got an opportunity to open a fine diner of his own in Surry Hills called Master.
Burger Head was put on the back burner for now.
If Josh was going to open a venue of his own he had to learn how the Front of House worked so Josh joined the opening team of Master where he helped to manage the front of house and learn to understand what it takes to run one. Along with working at Master Josh began studying at university where he did a degree in Business with a double major in Hospitality Management and Accounting 2 pretty handy dandy qualifications for someone to run his own restaurant.
Master received a chef hat after 1 month of opening, an incredible feat for a brand new restaurant.
This is the part where Tim joins the story. Timbo joined the Master team as a front of house member. On his first night where he did a trial, Richard actually had told the restaurant manager not to hire Tim. Luckily the restaurant manager went ahead and gave him a 1 month trial period where he proved himself. Tim moved into the kitchen later.
Josh had put his notice in to leave Master and on Josh’s last night Tim and Josh got chatting and Tim simply stated: “You’re a smart guy, what’s next?” Josh began to tell Tim of his plans of a Burger joint and Tim quipped up that he had a bit of savings and wanted to work for himself at some stage. Josh invited him for a beer and a chat after work that night at the Dolphin Hotel in January 2016, they got chatting and two became three.
Josh left for Bali for a month and when he returned Richard, Josh and Tim went for dinner to El Jannah in Blacktown on the 16th of February for their very first business meeting. It was on this night, although we didn’t have a name, Burger Head was born.
Tim and Richard still kept working at Master 70 hours a week, Josh had his uni studies full time and the trio would meet up in what little free time they had to plan and work on Burger Head.
Three young fellas with not much life experience but kitchen experience quickly found themselves out of their depth when it came to legal documents on leasing, figuring out the laws around employment, registering a company the whole shebang.
In July of 2016, the trio hit a massive snag and for a short while Burger Head was actually canned.
The boys figured out a solution and pushed on working their tales off to get their idea off the ground. We found our little site that we now call home in Penrith and in November 2016 signed the lease. There was no backing out now.
Fast forward 2 months to January 6th and our doors opened and we changed Penrith’s burger scene forever.