To compete with McDonald’s, it created a ‘storage’ hamburger store that now earns BRL 50 million
Camila Guerra is the founder of American Burger, a chain of hamburgers she opened with just R$800 and which today has more than 60 units.
Entrepreneur Camila Guerra always knew she would have her own business. The path to this, however, was not so simple. Seven failed attempts later, today she runs a business with turnover of BRL 50 million. It’s about the american burgera chain of hamburgers founded seven years ago and which in 2022 should reach 60 units spread across the country.
Born in Contagem, the third largest city in Minas Gerais, and a mechanical engineering student, Camila had to interrupt her studies after becoming pregnant with her first daughter, aged 24. To help supplement her income, she started making hamburgers in the kitchen at home and delivering them via delivery.
With a lot of effort, she balanced her routine in front of the plates and her commitment to motherhood. Gradually, the business gained relevance, a result of investment in a business model that did not yet exist in the region and a proprietary sauce recipe. “Of the many hamburgers in my city, only one delivered. I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity, but I got into a fight with chains like Burger King and McDonald’s”, he says.
How the business was created
With R$800 in her pocket, Camila officially created American Burger. At the beginning of the enterprise, she delivered the pamphlets herself, answered calls, prepared orders and made deliveries, alongside her one-year-old baby. All within her own kitchen, in a model similar to that adopted by successful entrepreneurs who literally started from inside their garages.
The period inside the home kitchen was short. Soon, she needed to escalate the operation. It was when he created his commercial point, still dedicated only to the production of snacks and a pickup point for motoboys.
The chain gained units in Belo Horizonte and Juiz de Fora, also in Minas Gerais. After that, he arrived at Espírito Santo. In five years, it opened 34 establishments of its own in six Brazilian states, a leap that, to a large extent, happened thanks to the emergence of delivery apps, which accelerated deliveries.
The entrepreneur says that, even far from her area of training, the passion for motorsport still accompanied her in the founding of the company. Today, the chain’s menu has snacks named after typically American models, such as
- Dodge Ram
Where is the business going?
At the head of a team of 300 employees, Camila’s new ambition is to reach 100 stores next year. “We are in a great moment, and the aggressive growth is the result of an effort and lessons learned from many phases in recent years”.
The ability to keep an eye on market trends also led Camila to expand her sources of income and diversify her business. Today, American Burger’s menu goes beyond the “burger” and also sells pizza and Japanese foods.
“When I saw that I beat the game, it was time to diversify”. Today the chain sells more than 1 million pieces of sushi (typical Japanese food) monthly.
With an eye on further expanding the business, Camila’s new venture is looking for investors to help her take the company abroad.