Brisbane burger joint Grassfed is forced to close as owners blame rising costs
An Australian burger restaurant which became famous locaIly and internationally is shutting down, blaming rising costs – eight months after a mysterious online post predicted it would close.
It used to have queues out the door of its small premises on Fish Lane, and even an international fan base, but it’s shutting for good on September 24.
Owners Leizl Estioko and Jonny Garrison said the higher cost of ingredients, people eating out less often and a $200-a-week rent rise have all taken a toll.
The couple also said they want to spend more time with their five children and focus on their other business, Queensland Vegan Markets.
‘It’s been a rough journey since 2020 with lots of instability and lots of ups and downs,’ Ms Estioko told the Courier Mail.
‘The cost of everything is going up – the cost of goods, deliveries, wages, super and we’re not a high-end restaurant who can charge more.
‘You can’t be charging $30 or $40 for burgers and fries so how can we still make a living if we make a profit margin of 50 cents a dish.’
She said the rising cost of living also meant that instead of getting a burger and a drink each, some people were now sharing them.
With limited space, having two seats taken up by people eating one burger made it hard to make money.
Grassfed gained a popular following in its five years of existence, including praise from MasterChef judge and food critic Matt Preston.
Its reputation spread interstate and overseas too, with some people going there straight after arriving into Brisbane airport.
The owners said they were proud of what they had achieved with Grassfed, claiming they had converted some people to veganism, and also raising money for the Farm Animal Rescue charity.
The restaurant has 11 days left and is offering $6 and $7 specials on Tuesdays and Wednesdays before it shuts its doors.
Though many have been taken by surprise by the imminent closure, it seems the writing has been on the wall since at least early this year.
A Reddit post from January 1 predicted the restaurant’s days were numbered.
‘For my vegans in Brisbane, be sure to check out Grassfed before they shut down sometime this year,’ the post said.
‘They make the very best burgers and cauliflower wings I’ve ever had!’