You might recognise Boneshaker from its debut Marleston locale. Baking buns and hand-grinding meat daily, the Marion Road burger bar gained popularity with its locally focused burgers, D’Angelo coffee and unique position inside Australia’s largest indoor BMX park, Pumpt Ride.
Now, in a change of scenery Boneshaker has expanded its reach to encompass three sites across China.
Many South Australian businesses have taken the plunge into the Chinese market, too often with no avail. With cultural differences and language barriers presenting challenges to those attempting to enter the market, the Boneshaker has broken the mould, finding success with its all-Australian burgers.
Boneshaker owner, Billy Petropoulos, says, “one of the biggest difficulties was Boneshaker’s name… there is no direct translation for Boneshaker, so the Chinese can’t physically type it on their phones to look up, so we had to develop a system based on popular numbers and colours instead”.
Renowned as the Silicon Valley of China, Billy used Shenzhen’s unique affluence and young demographic to test the Boneshaker concept abroad. With limited western influence and a 12-million-person strong untapped population, it was the perfect location to trial a distinctively Australian product.
“In Shenzhen no one speaks English, let alone has western restaurants, so we thought it was the perfect destination to test the market and see if China was adaptable and able to understand the western culture,” says Billy.
Finding success in its debut Chinese locale, Boneshaker’s international presence has grown to include a second sister store in Shenzhen, a third location in Hanzhou and plans for fourth soon to come.
Boneshaker remains proudly South Australian, championing the state’s premium produce across all locations. From beef to beer to beans, the burger bar’s emphasis on SA fare has proved to be a recipe for success.
The Full Aussie burger’s layers of fried egg, crispy bacon, beetroot and pineapple outselling all other menu items to be Boneshaker’s most popular offering in China.
“A lot of people in the Chinese market don’t even know what beetroot is, a friend egg on a burger is unheard of and it’s also a big burger for the Chinese market, but they love it,” explains Billy.
With international expansion comes a revamp on home soil. Utilising his experience abroad, Billy is working to integrate Chinese flavours, spices and a different style of eating into the current Boneshaker offerings in Marleston.
Such changes include the launch of new breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings and a quadrupled kid’s menu.
“With my international experience in restaurants and understanding of the food scene I believe Boneshaker needed to grow,” says Billy. “We are very excited to be launching a brand-new breakfast, lunch and dinner menu which will include some extra Chinese flavours”.