Honest Burgers: light-touch guidance to nurture belonging


“Isabel and Belonging Space helped open our minds to people, community and culture as guiding strategic principles.”

Dan Davis, Engagement and Communication Manager, Honest Burgers


Not all challenges need deep comprehensive support: Sometimes what’s most useful is simply a quiet chat as a sounding board. This light-touch approach is how we helped Honest Burgers put belonging into action for this unique company.

Culture challenges from start-up to grown-up

Nurturing culture and belonging through rapid growth is a classic belonging challenge on the journey from start-up to grown-up. How to sustain the core ethos that means so much to the founding team, while also evolving to suit expansion?

Honest Burgers’ success has spread fast across the country, doubling then tripling numbers of employees in just a few years. The team has a passion for culture and part of the briefing for new recruits is the founders’ story, sharing their beliefs and sense of purpose behind the whole company.

Low-key can be big impact

Our conversations together (over burgers of course!) early in 2019 gave Dan Davis, Engagement and Communication Manager, and the founders a chance to work through considerations. We provided stimulus, suggestions for specific issues, and sense-check, then leaving this very capable internal team to get on with what they need to do.

Dan Davis, Engagement and Communication Manager says:

“Our informal conversations with Isabel and Belonging Space really developed our thinking as a business, and influenced our decision not only to rebuild our people function but also to ensure we focus on recruiting and training people-focused operators at every level of the business.”

Honest to the core of belonging

Honest Burgers has worked hard to build integrity into this vibrant business: from the care for sourcing produce and unique burger formation (read about when you go for a burger), to pioneering plant-based options, to its strong visual brand and upbeat, hospitable customer experience. You can see a little more on this award-winning film (made by Gorilla-Gorilla, in the same group of companies as Belonging Space).

Honesty goes deep: Taking the same level of care over culture was natural from the start. The founders infused a strong sense of belonging, with close teams in each branch as well as linking with head office and between branches. With growth in numbers of people and geographic spread Dan took on the role of nurturing belonging in a more strategic way.

The relationship between internal culture and customer experience is particularly close in the restaurant business – it’s easy to see how a strong sense of belonging spreads commercial success for this great team.

Facing the belonging challenges of rapid growth or dispersed teams? If you’d like a bit of guidance and then be left alone to get on with it, give us a call to arrange a chat over tea (or burgers).

isabel@belongingspace.com   07792 433680