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Community Highlights: Meet Aly Lalani of Build My Burgers

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aly Lalani.

Hi Aly, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My name is Aly and my wife, Zahra and I are founders of Build My Burgers (BMB), a new concept in the world of burger making where customers can curate their burgers the way they desire! “We are not just selling burgers; we are selling an experience. We want people to enjoy every bite of our food as if it were made in their homes, in their own kitchens, with love and attentive care.” At BMB, customers can build their burgers from scratch and choose from over fifteen sauces and fifteen toppings. The kitchen is right in front of you, so you can see your food and smell the sizzling aromas. We are proud to offer great food, a great environment, and great service. It is our dream come true. I had a passion for starting my own restaurant concept for as long as I can remember. I dreamt of creating a brand that would offer comfort food but with fresh, healthy, and wholesome ingredients and affordable prices. It was 13 years ago that I started my first venture by franchising Blimpie in 2008. I was 23 years old at the time and was just learning the ropes of running a food business. I grew that business to three stores and learned a great deal.

After that, in 2015, I became an operating partner with another chicken franchise. By now, I was becoming less enthusiastic about running franchises. I felt very limited since I did not have the freedom to choose the ingredients or to change product lines. With Zahra’s support, I started building my own concept. We researched and tested many locally sourced, fresh ingredients until we found the right vendors. Our kitchen became a laboratory for experimental cooking. Being the foodies that we are, our number one priority was the unquestionably great taste. Once we achieved that, we couldn’t wait to serve it to others. We are passionate about food, but we are even more passionate about people. “Good quality and satisfying food can have a positive impact on the lives of others.” Says Zahra. “We want to bring joy to the communities in which we serve. This is not just a restaurant to us; it is a life purpose. We love to feed delicious, healthy and satisfying meals.”

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There have been many challenges along the way, but in truth, we would not be here without those challenges. Starting with raising capital for a socially conscious business. It was challenging to get a loan to support a business plan which promised high quality at low prices. From the start, we wanted to stay completely local, invest in our employees and serve quality food to our customers. I have never believed in cutting corners or taking shortcuts and I wanted to do this right. I was also keenly aware that the restaurant industry is very tough with a high failure rate and that many restaurants did not survive past their first year. But I had faith in myself and my vision. We started saving money and reached out to as many investors as we could. Another major hurdle came in the most unforeseeable form of a global pandemic. We planned to open BMB last year, but we were not able to due to Covid. All our plans came to a scary halt, but we did not give up. We wanted to do what we love, so we kept working towards it.

And finally, on Jan 15th, 2021, we opened our doors, and we are thrilled with the results. People love our burgers, freaky shakes, fried Oreos, and twinkies! They also love our health-conscious salad bowls and breadless options. We have something for everyone, and we continuously seek feedback to adapt and improve. We started the year with another life-changing event, the birth of our first child. While it has been challenging to manage a new restaurant around the uncertainty of a pandemic and an infant in tow, we are lucky to be surrounded by an amazing support system of family members who believe in us and our customers who want to support a local business. We are truly thankful to all our customers for trying our food and supporting a start-up. Many of our customers have shown us great support on social media and through word of mouth. That matters a great deal.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Build My Burgers?
I am mostly involved on the business. Working to increase sales. Making sure the place is clean, the service is excellent, and the customers are satisfied.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
I see the shift in more automation, things becoming more online and takeout. Either way, we will be ready for whatever changes are there in the industry and adapt accordingly.

Pricing:

  • We have a special Single Cheeseburger Fries and Drink for $7.99

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Picture 8 photo credit is madeinorlando

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