They took a risk and have never regretted it. Bojan Hofmann and Manuel Eberle quit their jobs as mechanics and founded the start-up “Meat & Greet” in autumn 2015. Since then, the friends have been on the road throughout the Basel region with their street food truck, a former postal service Sprinter 308 CDI that they converted themselves. Now they supply the hungry with tasty burgers. “We simply did not want to stay stuck in the same rut any more”, says Bojan Hofmann. “We wanted to build up something of our own.” The two aircraft mechanics met when they were in the air force in 2010. Their shared passion for a good burger after work forged a bond between the two. However, they often had a hard time finding what they were looking for: a tasty and authentic burger with high quality ingredients. At a barbecue, they had the idea of going freelance with their own street food truck.
Bojan Hofmann was familiar with the street food concept from the USA and, above all, from Asia where food trucks can be found on every corner. Time continued to pass because they needed the money for the Burger truck first. The two Swiss mechanics invested their savings and gathered funds through crowdsourcing. “The beginning was not easy”, says Manuel Eberle. At first the friends had problems finding the right vehicle, for example. They finally found what they were looking for at Deutsche Post. The two used their outstanding technical skills to transform the Sprinter 308 CDI with a postal service body into a food truck. Yellow became matte black and instead of letters and parcels, the converted Mercedes-Benz diesel van now transports kitchen equipment and high-quality burger ingredients. “Meat & Greet” was born but they still needed a few euros.
The Swiss top chef Daniel Bumann discovered the two new gastronomes and presented them on his television show “Bumann the restaurant tester”. This helped raise their profile and the mobile burger shop from Basel was on a roll – also thanks to the economical Mercedes-Benz van. “The Sprinter is an absolutely top quality vehicle. It has high driving comfort and low consumption”, explains Bojan Hofmann. This matches our style and our sustainability ideals: we treat our customers to high-quality burgers, deep-fried potato chips and salads – all made from regional ingredients.” The business model seems simple but is by no means easy”, emphasizes Hofman: “Offering the perfect burger, the right potato chips and fresh salad is an art in itself. Not just once, but every day.”
We might be fast, but quality plays a key role for us. The fresh products are what distinguish our burgers.
This is the difference between street food and the classic snack bar, explains Eberle. The latter is cheap and fast, street food is like a special culture. “It is a creative process. Everyone has to develop their own style and gain their own experience.” Every month they now use up to half a ton of beef and the trend is on the rise. “Meat & Greet” also drive to street food markets or are booked as caterers. They always leave behind full and satisfied burger enthusiasts with a happy smile. “The food truck is our business card and an eye-catcher”, explains Hofmann. “This is our passion. We have invested a lot in our dream and today we are living it.”