After literally eating his way through the world while living abroad, founder Jamil wanted to showcase the food from different cultures he discovered on his favourite canvas: burgers n’ fries.
Founded in 2013, BFF did just that. It wasn’t your typical burger joint. We created a space with options for everyone, so you can enjoy burgers n’ fries no matter where you’re from. Creativity didn’t mean adding a bunch of extra cheese or patties. And fries? We offer way more than a side of ketchup. That gets old quickly.
For decades, fries have been the Robin to Batman. But we’re all about equality. That’s why we hand-cut our fries, double fry ’em, and come up with a ton of crazy combinations. It’s our goal to give you the best burgers AND fries.
We use a fresh AAA Angus halal custom beef blend, we use fresh produce, we hand-cut our PEI russet potatoes, and we make our own sauces from scratch — you get the point.
We’re a truly Canadian burgers n’ fries joint. We want to be your BFF, no matter where you’re from or what you believe in.
We take care of as many diverse homies as possible by offering halal, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
Tell us about yourself?
I started off delivering pizza flyers at the age of 12, not because of the $20 cash I got paid but because of the free pizza. I’ve always loved food and grew up in a Bangladeshi household where my mom was always cooking and having me eat. My first job with an actual paycheque was with McDonald’s at the age of 15. I worked in various restaurants from that experience doing everything from washing dishes to preparing recipes to cooking on the line. I’ve always loved restaurants but didn’t see the opportunity to own my own business or brand until later in life when I met my original business partner. I pitched him the idea at the age of 22, and I’ve never looked back since.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Don’t worry about the next 10 steps – worry about the next one and have the confidence to make the right decision because you can’t predict what works or what doesn’t. You just have to try to the best of your ability.
What problem does your business solve?
We solve hangryness and combat frozen, boring burgers n’ fries! We’re also a fully halal food business.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
I saw that there were very limited halal offerings in my city, much less a burger joint that was in the better burger category. After trying Belgian-style frites while living in Amsterdam and tasting how fresh ingredients and innovation could take something so simple and make it so crave-worthy, it was the lightbulb moment. We were trying to give more dietary options to everyone through a Canadian staple of burgers n’ fries. Whether you eat halal, vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, etc., we think of ourselves as a Canadian burger joint where anyone from all walks of life can enjoy burgers n’ fries.
What is your magic sauce?
We’ve been doing a running special for 10 years where every month or two, we introduce a new innovative fusion of burgers n’ fries. Whether it’s a Birria burger and Birria cheese fries or a Korean popcorn chicken fries, it’s something that our customers love and we love conceptualizing.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We want to grow to a double-digit unit count via franchising and continue building brand equity with the communities that we’re situated in.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
The pandemic was a massive challenge that forced us to shut down two of our stores and has completely changed the landscape of the business. However, it taught me how to truly think about how to scale a business versus just operating it, as it forced me to look at my finances, my legal structure, and all the other aspects of operating a restaurant besides just the “cooking food” portion.
How can people get involved?
You can reach out to us via our website for franchise inquiries. I also offer branding and marketing consulting services myself due to my extensive experience with both the restaurant brand and an e-commerce skincare brand that my wife and I started called www.yellowbeauty.com