Could you get the burrito buzz?

By Sarah Stowe | 19 May 2016 View comments

Music. A sense of fun. Speed freaks. That’s what it takes to dish up a burrito in 60 seconds, over and over again at a busy lunch rush in Melbourne’s CBD.  From Monday to Friday Mad Mex franchisee Sean and his team of four staff deliver great customer service with a smile that has regulars coming back for more.

The excitement starts at 7.30am when Sean opens up the small food court outlet he’s been operating for seven months.

He loves to be hands on in his role, so an early morning start sets him up for the day – slicing and dicing the fresh produce, preparing the salsa, setting up the kitchen so it runs smoothly and efficiently. By mid-morning team members have arrived and finished the prepping:  flavoursome marinated chicken and wholesome avocados turned into perfect guacamole are ready for action.

The staff shifts are staggered and there really aren’t any quiet periods. When Sean closes the store mid-afternoon, he’s made it ready for a smooth start the next day.

“I clean, clean, clean, prep, prep, prep, fill fridges, order.”

All this heavy prep pays off.

“I’ve got food on the line at 10am. There are lots of construction works on smoko who come and grab a burrito.”

Mad Mex allows just 60 seconds to fulfil each customer’s order.

“I actually like the rush. It’s the biggest buzz; a line of 20 customers, making sure everybody is doing what they’re supposed to, so you can get through the line very fast.”

Sean works either on the tortilla press or the cash register. “I can see where help is needed and jump in. It’s the best part of the job, a huge adrenalin rush.

“Music is blaring; I like to have fun with my guys. I try and make this a great place to work. I have regular customers and I know their names, ask them about their weekend.

“You have to inject personality into it. I’m not a whip cracker and I don’t sit in the office, I like to work in a team. I couldn’t just sit on my computer.”

Sean’s office is a desk with printer and chair at the back of the store.

“My store is the size of a postage stamp,” says Sean.

While a tiny footprint makes it easy to control food storage and preparation, there are other challenges.

“Everyone in the team has to work together so I avoid hiring people with dominant personalities. I need people who can work in a small space, fast.

“It’s a friendly atmosphere, it’s exciting. It’s pretty loud compared to the rest of the food court – we liven it up a bit!”

At the moment the Sean has evenings and weekends free – although he does sometimes take admin home. But he’s opening a second store in June in a centre that only closes on Christmas Day.

It’s going to be a whole new experience. But he’s primed.

“The best thing is being your own boss. I always wanted to own a food business. I’ll be working seven days for a while but I love it!”

Are you an adrenalin junkie? Get your adventure fix in a fresh new way: if you’re ready to fast-track your future, find out more about owning a Mad Mex franchise.