Hawaii's top burger joint opens first store in PH

Posted at 07/31/14 9:26 PM

Burger is happiness. No fancy toppings, just a burger in its purest form is the motto of Teddy's Bigger Burgers owner Ted Tsakiris. Photo: Handout

MANILA - The country's burger scene just got a whole lot bigger with the arrival of one of Hawaii's Teddy's Bigger Burgers.

Set to open in Makati on August 23, the debut branch marks the first international franchise of the SumoBurger Global Inc., whose restaurants include Sumo Sam and Akira, among others.

The group is owned by the trio of actor-businessman Marvin Agustin, Raymund Magdaluyo and Ricky Laudico, who admittedly came across the burger house rather "serendipitously."

"Raymund was biking in Oahu [Hawaii] and it started raining hard," recalled Laudico.

He shared that Magdaluyo ended up taking shelter at Teddy's Kailua branch, where he instantly became a fan of the burger joint's signature ground chuck charbroiled burgers.

Shortly thereafter, Magdaluyo brought Agustin and Laudico to a branch in Tokyo, where the three met with founders Ted Tsakiris and Richard Stula to invite the franchise over to the country.

Teddy's Bigger Burgers owners Richard Stula and Ted Tsakiris. Photo: Handout

A deal later, Filipino burger enthusiasts will only have to wait less than a month from now to get a bite of Teddy's Originals -- a burger made of 100% US ground chuck patty topped with the restaurant’s famous Super Sauce.

Other menu items of note from the global brand include the "more adventurous" Volcano Burger, the Blue Cheese Bacon Burger, and the traditional Hawaiian Style, which has grilled pineapple with teriyaki sauce.

Customers can also make their own burger creation by adding their choice of toppings from the menu of bacon, avocado, jalapenos, onion rings, peanut butter, pastrami, among others.

"It's just burgers, sides, wings, and shakes," said Tsakiris in describing the restaurant's simplistic approach to making burgers.

"What I think makes customers come back for more is the quality we put into every burger. If you have a good quality patty, you don’t really need expensive extras such as foie gras or truffle oil on your burger. We want to keep things simple," he further explained.

Asked about what convinced him to expand in the Philippines, Tsakiris answered that just like him, Filipinos have many fond memories attached to eating a burger.

"Filipinos usually equate burgers with happiness. Eating a burger is a religious experience for me. And nine times out of 10 when I’m eating a burger, I just start shaking my head, my eyes closed, and say 'Wow! This is amazing!" he said.

Teddy's Bigger Burgers Philippines will be located in Greenbelt 3 in Makati. It will be the latest foreign burger chain to open in Manila, which already hosts branches of Johnny Rockets and Caliburger.