Greg Barila

Journalist. Editor. Social Media specialist.

The burghers are bitter about Hungry Jack’s

Residents have helped block three Hungry Jack’s outlets in Adelaide in the past 12 months
FOR years, a popular fast-food chain has boasted proudly in TV ads that “the burgers are better at Hungry Jack’s”.
But if you live in SalisburySouth Brighton or St Peters you’ll just have to take their word for it.
Because the burger giant has attempted to hang its shingle in all these suburbs in the past 12 months and every time the people have said, ‘‘Not so fast’’. Suburbs starting with an ‘‘S’’ unite!
Cheesed-off locals have railed against the chain because they fear the foul aroma of frying burgers and worry about extra rubbish, traffic, noise and around-the-clock trading.
In South Brighton, some residents have said they also worry a new junk food joint would send the wrong message about healthy eating to all the kids at nearby schools.
The people have pushed petitions against the new outlets and rejoiced at every decision to halt their progress.
Yes, the burghers are bitter about Hungry Jack’s.
“I live right next door to where the Hungry Jack’s was proposed and if this went ahead … it would’ve completely destroyed our lifestyle, Alexander Paschero told the East Torrens Messenger after the St Peters application was flame-grilled by the local council.
Aasha Shaw, who runs an organic market at Somerton Park, said she and her neighbours were looking to lead healthy, active and sustainable lives and “I don’t believe Hungry Jack’s fits in with our philosophy”.
Poor old Hungry Jack’s isn’t the first burger business to get into a bun fight with the public.
In 2010, locals mounted a successful campaign, with support from Maggie Beer, to slap down plans for a McDonald’s at Nuriootpa, on the basis that the restaurant might threaten the Barossa’s reputation as a mecca for gourmet food.
Advertiser reader Scott of the Barossa called the decision what it was — “ridiculous”.
“It’s another victory for the affluent, arrogant, selfish upper-class of the Barossa”, he wrote.
It’s hard not to see this kind of resistance as snobbish, narrow-minded and an attack on free choice.
Hipster burger joints with funny names and fancy logos are popping up all over town. So far, no one’s felt the need to sharpen the pitch forks and run them out of town.
It is also, I think, symptomatic of a broader cultural cancer in which we must ban everything we don’t like.
I say this as someone who lives close enough to a KFC I can smell the chicken cooking every Saturday morning.
And here’s the thing. Yes, sometimes wayward burger wrappers and milkshake cups find their way to the verge outside my house (I’d rather they didn’t). And sometimes (can you keep a little secret?) I buy a cheeky burger there myself.
Fast food isn’t a new concept in this country and chain restaurants have somehow managed to coexist in the cities and ’burbs for more than 30 years.
There are no fewer than 57 McDonalds outlets in South Australia, 37 KFC stores and more than 40 Hungry Jack’s and, like it not, South Australians patronise them.
But that also keeps hundreds of local people in work and this state needs every job it can get.
If fast food isn’t your bag, it’s easy, don’t eat it.
Oh, and have a nice day!
Your say: Do you live near a fast food joint? Do you have a problem with it? Should the government be looking for different kinds of business investment in the suburbs? Have your say below, on The Advertiser’s Facebook page or Tweet with Greg @GregBarila