A burger is a burger, except when it’s not! And it’s not just a burger when it’s one of the big burgers from Big Al’s Group. This is a company that has many years’ experience in providing fantastic fast food and, says Edward Cross, has always put an emphasis on BIG – big portions, big products and big affordable home-made meals. The fifth generation of his family to be involved in the fast food industry, Edward says he has always believed Big Al’s has a phenomenal product that can compete with the top franchised brands in the food and beverage industry. Edward himself has been in the game since he was 12-years old, working in his father’s store. This means he now has experience in every aspect of the business, from washing floors to serving customers to ordering stock to managing franchisees. He says that Big Al’s differentiates itself by delivering a complete turnkey fast food operation to franchisees. This includes everything from shopfitting to stock equipment and marketing, providing a smooth transition for franchisees into owning their own business. Most importantly, adds Edward, franchisees are buying into a business with a 40-year track record, but with franchises that are on a par – cost-wise – with other major franchised offerings. At the same time, Big Al’s has a new fresh approach and product, which is something the SA public is crying out for. Looking ahead, he suggests that the goal is to have a network of 150 independent franchised outlets throughout South Africa in the next three years. At the moment, Big Al’s is growing its footprint organically, spreading out from its base platform in Pretoria. This will mean expanding the company’s distribution network as well, because it only opens stores in areas where it is able to directly service them.