Fewer growling stomachs, more Sales

How Burgerwood coped with the return of hunger with an injection of cash at just the right time

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Cem Duran

Founder of Burgerwood

About Burgerwood

Under the iconic wooden chandelier, just around the corner from the Reichstag, homemade burgers, wraps and salads are served! The Black Angus beef is free-range, the ingredients are local, and the names of the dishes are from old Hollywood. Here, you’ll encounter Marilyn, Elvis, Marlene and a number of other stars from the good old Technicolor days. From vegan dishes like a quinoa kale burger with roasted red peppers, zucchini, and homemade tomato pesto to the ultra-hearty sauerkraut-onion Nürnberger-roast-sausage burger named after the unforgotten Klaus Kinski, you’ll find something for any taste right here!

During more normal times, Berlin's Mitte was almost like a beehive. Surrounded by offices, law firms, and government buildings, the most common sight during lunchtime was that of crowds with hungry faces. Most of them would then come to Cem Duran. The former investment banker, who got tired of the elbow mentality and lack of freedom in his job, has been running his lunch time restaurant Burgerwood since 2017.


At Burgerwood, Cem Duran combines two worlds that don't really go together: the gift inherited from his mother of being able to create innovative taste experiences and the economics knowledge acquired during his business studies in Switzerland. Fresh produce and top quality were one side of the coin, and the financial side was the other. Assessing the market and risks, analyzing the restaurant's location, calculating the break-even point, setting up processes - Duran could do it all. He then planned his dream meticulously and implemented it consistently. He did it without any investors, using his own savings and with the additional support of his family. But even he could not have foreseen a worldwide pandemic to suddenly threaten his success and demand a great deal of stamina and creativity in the aftermath. All of a sudden, the offices around Burgerwood were empty, and so was his restaurant.

During his time at UBS Bank, Duran had learned the importance of the team around you. That's why his thoughts turned first to his employees. Many restaurants had lost their employees permanently since the beginning of the pandemic, as a result of the closures, forcing them to change career paths. Duran however wanted to prevent that at all costs since he knew how valuable his people were to him.

“With a good team, you can accomplish a lot and make a lot of things happen. It's not that easy to find good employees, and when you do, you have to keep them," he says.

Burgerwood stayed open as much as it could. Duran tried to distribute the work as fairly as possible, paying salaries out of his savings during the time when most customers stayed in the home office. However, with a heavy heart he still had to let some employees go, because there was simply not enough work. Then, with the first rays of sunshine and the drop in the number of infections, the customers suddenly came back. Duran immediately needed all the people on board again to cope with the rush. But now there wasn't enough money to pay salaries. Duran had to get creative in anticipation of the higher expected turnover. And it had to be done quickly.


Getting creative wasn't that hard in this case. Cem Duran found the quick and easy financing offer he was looking for on one of our partner platforms - which had Banxware's financing solution embedded on their side.

Banxware's solutions are essentially curated for such cases. A first-class burger requires a lot of love and is not made in two minutes. But without enough employees, it is not made at all which results in a great loss of revenue. What one needs is a fast and unbureaucratic solution. Banxware offers exactly that. With us, our partner platforms can offer instant revenue-based financing to their merchants. The revenue-based model allows a certain percentage of sales to be paid back each month, rather than a fixed sum.

This lowers the risk and increases the margin for merchants. In addition, Banxware provides a financing calculator. The algorithm uses recent sales to calculate how much money can be borrowed without getting into too much debt. This fit perfectly for Cem Duran, who could have a stable plan without having to play poker.

If things go well, merchants can pay back more; if things don't go so well, less.

Banxware's service is embedded in the design of our partner platforms' websites and is available as a pure white label solution. Hence, all merchants active on the platform have access to financing without having to leave the platform. Simple, fast, digital, and free of bureaucratic hassle. The perfect solution for a short-term liquidity shortage. And also the ideal solution for Cem Duran. He provided himself with fresh liquidity via Banxware and thus had enough money to hire new employees.


With short-term financing through Banxware, Cem Duran was able to immediately address all necessary expenses and quickly respond to rapidly growing demand with new employees. He also knew how much money he could borrow without running the risk of over-indebtedness, thanks to Banxware's financing calculator. He quickly repaid his loan with sales, which increased sharply as expected.

So if you're ever in Mitte and have a hankering for handmade burgers, now you know where to go. We wish you bon appétit.