Brisbane’s Grassfed vegan burger restaurant announces closure

Brisbane’s Grassfed vegan burger restaurant announces closure
  • PublishedSeptember 14, 2023

A popular Brisbane burger restaurant known for its vegan meals has been forced to shut down.

Grassfed, which has built an international name for itself and once had queues out the door, said the costs of running the business have become too big to bear.

The restaurant had a strong upward trajectory after opening in 2018 but will be serving its last meals on September 24.

Despite its short-lived run, Grassfed gained a loyal following, even receiving praise from MasterChef judge and food critic Matt Preston.

The restaurant also claimed to have converted some people to veganism.

But owners Leizl Estioko and Jonny Garrison said the increasing costs of ingredients and a $200-a-week rent increase had forced them into the tough decision to shut up shop.

And as the cost of living soars, fewer and fewer Aussies are choosing to eat out.

“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.”

The couple said the move gives them more time to spend with their five children, focus on their other business, Queensland Vegan Markets.

In its final days, Grassfed is offering special deals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with prices as low as $6 and $7.

Grassfed’s closure is an all-too-familiar story for many Aussies struggling to make ends meet.

Household spending growth has collapsed in the last 12 months as persistent price pressures and an aggressive round of rate rises force families to tighten their belts.

According to fresh figures from the Commonwealth Bank on Wednesday, growth in household spending was up just 2.3 per cent in the 12 months to August. A year ago, household spending was growing at 18.7 per cent on an annual basis.

As cost of living pressures remain acute, households are cutting back on heading out to hospitality venues, with spending plummeting by 2.1 per cent in August.


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