Bosses reveal plan for mobile van service in bid to make Zaks the 'best for burgers'
PUBLISHED: 16:59 03 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:59 03 February 2020
The new owners of Zaks have revealed they are going to be bringing back a mobile burger van which they are going to take around Norfolk.
Chris Carr and Ian Hacon lifted the lid on some of their plans for American diner Zaks after buying the business. They told this newspaper they would be bringing back a burger van - which is how the business first started in 1976 - but this time it will be a mobile service they'd move around the county.
The van they're going to use is not the original one first used by Zaks founder, musician Harvey Platt, which was demolished but is very similar, said the bosses.
And they also revealed they have listened to pleas from customers for various changes to the menu which was revamped last year but which diners haven't liked as much. Some tweaks will be made in the next couple of weeks.
Such has been the demand for the comeback of the Zaks' 'Blue Vein' burger, with a blue cheese topping, as well as short ribs and the old style chips without the newer seasoning, customers coming to Zaks in the next two-three weeks will see these changes made. Meanwhile, Mr Carr and Mr Hacon, who were both involved in running Zaks prevously, are looking at changing the current menu, reinstating some of the old favourites as well as working on more vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.
"Zaks is in our hearts and the hearts of the people of Norwich," said Mr Carr, who worked for a decade as Zaks when it was owned by Blue Sky Leisure with Mr Hacon as CEO. "We are Norwich's original street food and we are aiming to sell the best burgers in the city."
He and Mr Hacon, who only live a couple of miles away from each other, are great mates too and are clear in their strategy for Zaks. They have taken over a business employing 103 local people using mainly local suppliers but they want to focus on getting the menu right, look at the service offered and also make changes reflecting the current trends to be more healthy and appeal to people with all kinds of food preferences and dietary requirements. For Mr Hacon, who also runs a physical and mental wellbeing initiative, Energise.Me as well as being an Ironman athlete himself, this synergy is vital. "I'm passionate about the two brands; Zaks and Energise.me, but there is a social connection; going out with your friends for a meal is actually very important for your wellbeing. We already offer healthy choices on the menu but we want to look more at this so people coming to Zaks can have just as good a meal whether they're vegan or gluten free." Not surprisingly his favourite dish is the health-conscious salmon steak - whereas Mr Carr loves the Zaks' chilli burgers The Hot One with chilli, Jalapeno cheese sauce and sliced Jalapenos.
They've taken over the three restaurants; in Riverside, Mousehold Heath and Poringland and will be looking to refurbish the buildings while retaining the current themes and logo.