You'd be forgiven for thinking you'd just walked down a cobble paved street in the middle of Berlin after sinking your teeth into the latest Gold Coast foodie trend: The Wiener Haus. Severing traditional German sausages with a side of humour, the crew at the pop up vendor are tickling the taste buds of Gold Coasters one large sausage at a time.
Who is behind The Wiener Haus?
Paddy Skicko, Zac Petersen and Jon Brooksby. We’re all old mates and had been talking over beers for years about starting up something together.
Originally you started out as a partnership with some mates, tell us about the experience of running a business with mates and was it hard to manage the relationship?
Its been interesting but in a good way! The thing I’ve found is that every person is different and we all handle situations differently. In all aspects of life it’s important to be patient and mostly talk to each other. We all have roles in the business and we get together once a week for a beer and to talk shop.
How old were you when you started the company?
I had just turned 27 when The Wiener Haus kicked off. This is my second business as I had originally run and operated a men’s jewellery label (skicko) for the past five years, only just recently closing it to focus on The Wiener Haus.
How did you come up with the idea of a German sausage food van?
We had been talking about cafes and looking at bricks n mortar spaces but we couldn’t find the right place. Then BAM a mobile popped up! It seemed to be the perfect launching platform for us. Everyone loves hotdogs and I personally love the Australian take on international food, which is what we have tried to achieve.
Why did you want to start your own business?
I always thought I would work for myself because I like to do my own thing and after years of traveling and working in hospitality and retail I knew it was time to put myself out there and have a go.
Why German sausages?
Because they taste so good lol! They are a great base to work with because they’re classic and have such a great variety of flavours.
The Wiener Haus branding and social media tone is very tongue in cheek, where did your motivation come from and how is it being received?
(Laughs) It’s part of the fun of having your own business! We are all pretty chilled and love a good joke and it just came hand in hand. We have some great fun with customers and I love hearing people giggle over some of the names. I wouldn’t say 100% of people get it, but you can never please everyone #nodickjokesplease
How do you choose your staff? Do you have a specific outline of the ideal Wiener Haus employee?
It’s all about attitude with us. You have to be fun and rad but also hard working, punctual and keen to be apart of the team. Oh and of course good with some customer banter!
What makes you different from other food vans on the Gold Coast?
There are other hotdogs around but how we put everything together along with our branding and persona makes us what we are.
What was the general amount of time it took to start up the business before it became established?
Around 6 months from decisions to build time and organising the menu, branding and design.
Food vans are still a new thing on the Gold Coast, how is the local community responding to the distribution?
We have had a great response and its only getting bigger! We receive all kinds of private bookings for parties, weddings and functions. People are really getting into it all over the Coast.
What are some advantages for running a food vendor as opposed to a brick and mortar restaurant?
The change of scenery everyday and having a real community feel when we’re involved in sporting events, markets and school carnivals. We love that, it’s nice to be apart of the growth of the Gold Coast.
What are some disadvantages?
Space can be limited at times with what you can produce inside the trailer in comparison to a full sized kitchen.
What are some great anecdotes you’ve heard since starting The Wiener Haus?
There is a couple that had their first date over a year ago at one of our street spots and now they’re one of our favourite regulars!
What are you top three tips for young entrepreneurs?
My favourite saying is ‘You have to risk it to get the biscuit’ and that’s what pushed me to jump into it. The fear of failure and finance is the hardest thing the get past but if you do your maths, research your idea and target market you’re off to a great start. The risk is well worth the reward. Research, break it all down and trust yourself!