If you are looking for a burger in Hong Kong, we’re excited to introduce you to our next Sustainabl. Spotlight feature, Honbo. This burger joint will satisfy all your cheeseburger dreams with its fluffy golden buns, juicy paddies and crispy pickles. Honbo knows good burgers. Honbo also has some of the trendiest food packaging in town and is a brand that does not skimp on quality when it comes to sustainability.
Established in 2017, Honbo was the first American-style burger to launch in Hong Kong. “For us, in Hong Kong, American food was underestimated, we wanted to make really nice craft burgers from scratch,” Micheal Chan, Honbo’s founder, told Sustainabl. Fast forward a few years, and Honbo is still the only craft burger place in the city that makes everything from its buns to its pickles in-house! They import only the finest meat, which they butcher and grind themselves, even down to the secret sauce prepared with love in each Honbo kitchen.
Honbo takes branding very seriously, for any gweilo who didn’t know, Honbo means burger in Cantonese, so it’s the perfect name for the Hong Kong burger joint. With branding inspired by old-school fast food joints like KFC and McDonald’s, the team at Honbo does not mess around when it comes to branding, “we just want to make cool sh*t!” Micheal told us, “We have a strong brand, and we enjoy pushing the brand out for people to see it” From the humble beginnings of a logo drawn by Micheal himself to a burger empire that now has its own typography in English and Chinese, Honbo knows how to make a lasting impression on its customers.
The burger company knows how to tell a good story, and we will now take a quick moment to introduce you to the Honbo mascots. Starting with the head of the family, “Mrs Patty”, nothing at Honbo would go as planned if they didn't have Mrs Patty - Honbo grind their beef fresh daily, and yesterday’s beef would never be in today’s burger! “Mr Bun” holding up his potato milk bun, famously known to be the key difference in what makes Honbo burgers better! Mr Bun was born a potato. He worked his whole life to become a bun! So there you have it, the Honbo Potato Milk Bun, holding it all together most days! We have mad respect for Mr Bun's worth ethics here at Sustainabl. Next up is “Onion”, and she is not your typical (eyes welling up with tears) type of onion. She has deeper layers and brings a lot of flavour to the Honbo Family. “Cheese” is the youngest mascot, and he works hard turning milk into our thick slices of American cheese! Last but not least, there is “Mr Pickles”. A family ain't a family without a cat, the same way every burger needs a pickle!
If you’ve not smacked your lips around a Honbo burger yet, the Honbo 1.5 or Cheeseburger is the most authentic Honbo experience. The cheeseburger has more juicy paddy although if you like something more on the crispy side then the 1.5 is your choice. “It is important for us to put things on the menu that we can stand behind,” says Micheal “our core menu is very simple and direct, and we do that really well! Sweet potato fries and tater tots are also a delightful side to any burger, which we highly recommend adding to your order”.
We asked Micheal why sustainability is important to his business and he explained the ethos behind his brand “when you watch futuristic movies, people have crazy cellphones and computers that do everything, but at the end of the day, they still have to eat. Even in the movie WALL-E they are still eating burgers! So for us, it's important for me to keep producing food that people can eat forever. Burgers are a common favourite food, but if we don’t run businesses that are considerate of the earth's resources then we’ll never be able to continue to create food like this. The sustainability of the industry and making sure we can always make this food in the future is vital if we want to be a business that lasts for 100 years,” Micheal told the Sustainabl. team “In 100 years, if there are no cows or flour because of global warming, we won’t have a business!”, he explained that as the company grows it will always be important for Honbo to lower its carbon footprint and to take steps to make sure they are paying attention to buying sustainable products, from the meat in the burgers to the packaging it's wrapped in. Quality sustainable products cost money, but it's a price the company is willing to pay to protect the earth's resources.
With the delivery market blowing up over the last few years, Honbo is committed to buying packaging that breaks down naturally. It was a no-brainer for Honbo to work with Sustainabl. Micheal told us, “you are the only ones in Hong Kong doing this! I have no other choice! Not to mention you have a great sales team” It is the company motto to think about fast food in a way that is good for the environment. Although they might be categorised as fast food, the reality is they are a restaurant that specialises in burgers because they thoughtfully make everything from scratch with love and respect. “We don’t want to use packaging that hurts the planet earth, that is what our company is all about” Micheal said.
With new stores opening up across the region, we wanted to know what was next for Honbo! “Open more stores! Expand and sustain!” Micheal told us, oh and that there are two 6-foot statues of the mascots on the way, and we’re excited about that!
If after this feature, you are ready to chow down on a burger, head to Honbo’s website to find a store near you! (https://www.honbo.com/locations) And for amazing burger content follow Honbo on Instagram at @honbo.burger