American diner Zaks brings back burger caravan – but with a difference
- Credit: Archant
Bosses of the Norfolk diner chain Zaks are launching not one but two mobile caravans and a new pop-up ‘restaurant.’
Zaks, which currently has diners in Mousehold Heath and Barrack Street, Norwich and also Poringland, was renowned when it first started for its mobile caravan. The striking red converted caravan used to park up in Farmers Avenue to sell foil wrapped burgers but went out of use.
But now, in Covid times making eating in restaurants tricky, bosses Ian Hacon and Chris Carr have revealed they are launching two mobile caravans and a pop-up diner capable of seating 30-40 people. All three ventures will be selling the renowned chargrilled burgers wrapped in foil again.
Mr Hacon told this newspaper the ventures wouldn’t be starting until the spring. One of the caravans is going to be made to look like the original one, which no longer exists. This is a former Lakenham Creamery caravan which has been bought, partially converted and painted red.
Another will be created from a new Chevrolet van with a rounded roof, more like an Airstream trailer, and then the pair will also be running a pop-up, converting an old shipping container. All three mobile units will literally appear in different places such as car parks as well as be available for weddings and other private events.
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The units are being paid for thanks to a New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Covid grant scheme – which has given Zaks £41,000.
Mr Hacon said: “It has enabled us to think much bigger and deliver something which is even better and much more flexible. If we find a suitable pitch, we can pop up there for more than a few days. This will also help assure the employment of our team and lead to the recruitment of further team members as we come out of restrictions.
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“We can go to shows, weddings, birthdays – all those private events. It gives us the ability to go viral, so we can pop up in car parks around Norfolk and Norfolk and promote on social.” They also plan to sell Zaks branded merchandise from the caravans such as hoodies and baseball caps.
Glen Moore, New Anglia Growth Hub adviser, said: “Zaks has been part of Norfolk life for more than 40 years and many of life’s celebrations have been held in its distinctive restaurants. This project will play a critical part in enabling its success story to continue, despite the Covid lockdowns.”