FISHBOWL enters budget meal battle with food boxes | QSR Media
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FISHBOWL enters budget meal battle with food boxes

The new menu targets consumers looking for healthy affordable options.

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services sales dropped by 0.3% in June according to recent government statistics, showing the extent to how much consumers have pulled back on spending in response to cost of living pressures.

Because of this, QSRs have become more creative with their value meals, producing different meal combos such as food bowls and other simplified menu options. Joining the wave of new menu innovation catered towards a more budget-friendly range is fast-casual chain FISHBOWL which just recently released its new menu range called STREET FOOD by FISHBOWL.

In a quick interview with Nicolas Pestalozzi, co-founder and marketing director of FISHBOWL, he explained how they came up with the new menu and why eating healthy shouldn’t have to be expensive.

With the current economic challenges and rising costs, how did Fishbowl come up with the idea of the STREET FOOD by FISHBOWL to address these issues without compromising on quality?

Nicolas: Through creativity and innovation. Rather than raising prices on everything and accepting the status quo, we've created a new menu line utilising the fresh flavours and ingredients that we're known for. Our new menu line, STREET FOOD, gives new and existing customers the chance to enjoy a box (not a salad) and the only choice they have to make is regarding their protein. We’ve removed the elements of customization, and the (sometimes) overwhelming nature of a salad to deliver a more streamlined iteration of our bowls, same quality, same flavours. All boxes come with sushi rice, house slaw and umami crunch. They're simple and smashable, and sometimes that all we feel like. 

As a fast-food business, how does Fishbowl plan to maintain the balance between offering affordable options in the "Street Food" range and ensuring the food remains healthy and flavorful?

Who said accessibility and affordability have to come at the cost of nutritional value and health!? We don’t believe there needs to be a compromise and there never will be at FISHBOWL. We make food that we personally eat every single day. We’re not making food for anyone other than ourselves, and fortunately, we’re connecting with everyone else seeking something similar. Value, health, flavour and fun are at the core of everything we do at FISHBOWL. 

In a competitive fast-food market, how does Fishbowl plan to differentiate the "Street Food" range from other value-focused offerings?

The Street Food range uses the same fresh ingredients and flavours as our bowls. Naturally, our product is quite different to other value-focused offerings. Every STREET FOOD box is made fresh to order with dressings made from scratch, rice cooked on site and produce prepared that day. It’s also made by us, and we’ve spent the last 7 years building a brand that delivers on the promise of real food, quite fast. 

We’ll continue to run our own race and find exciting ways to add more value to our customers' lives, ultimately, STREET FOOD by FISHBOWL is our new gateway to healthier lifestyle choices for all.

Amidst the current economic challenges and rising costs, how do think fast-food businesses should design their meal deals to offer value to consumers whilst ensuring profitability for the company?

Tough one for me to comment on, from our standpoint, we're always looking for ways to deliver the most value we can to our customers. We assessed how we could carve out more value whilst remaining profitable, and it resulted in a new menu line of boxes. By removing much of the costs that go into our bowls (from customisation and an abundance of veg) we've been able to reach new customers who are seeking a portion-controlled meal, whilst also providing a more affordable meal to everyone. It's a real WIN WIN. 

What are some of your strategies to increase brand loyalty?

We've recently launched our new online ordering system with a more seamless customer experience and improved visuals. This improved experience has led to increased loyalty and online growth. We're also simultaneously working on an app to support this and provide a rewards program. It will essentially be our version of a loyalty program however structured differently to form a community around the brand and our values. 

Our community initiatives and events such as run clubs, mental health givebacks, school nutrition sessions, and collaborations with local events and groups generate local support and loyalty. For us, we’re very much a local-centric business and we’re looking to scale what we call a store 1 mentality – ‘If this was our only store, what would we do differently?’. This is how we started and got to where we are today. 

Lastly, constantly innovating, improving our recipes, introducing new bowls, and new boxes at unbeatable prices, executing entertaining campaigns and interacting with customers on media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram – it’s this continuous velocity of ideas, specials, events and ultimately, improvement that generates brand love, loyalty and connection. 

Could you share some of your plans for the next five years?

We will continue to get better as we grow both locally and internationally. We want to build a great Australian brand and prove to ourselves that we can compete on an international level. We'll open our first international store in 2024 whilst continuing to grow domestically. 

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