Five years ago, one of the hippest things to do in Bangkok was go and stand in line in front of the Daniel Thaiger burger truck on Soi 38 and pray that you and your friends got one of the trendy, American-style burgers before they ran out and closed up, as they inevitably did every night back in those days.
Since the truck was always on the move, people would eagerly check the business’s Facebook page just to find out the basic deets of where they were parked that night, what time they were opening, or if the burgers had already sold out for the day. Bangkokians rejoiced in posting photos of themselves with the coveted burger in front of the instantly recognizable red truck.
A lot has changed in Bangkok, its food scene, and with Daniel Thaiger in the ensuing half decade.
Over the years, other burgers have had their moment in the spotlight — including the current viral burger spot Homeburg, where the chef is infamous for only crafting four cheeseburgers per day — and, the world-famous street food area on Soi 38 has been sadly and completely shut down, apparently in the name of modernization or something. Sigh.
However, Daniel Thaiger has held their own and cemented their reputation in a city where food fads disappear as hard and quickly as they appear.
And so, the brand will be celebrating its fifth birthday tomorrow with a burger party at Thong Lor’s The Commons, during which all their burgers will be half-priced. Coconuts caught up with co-founder Honey Nualanong to chat about the occasion.
She told us that, while she and co-founder Mark Falcioni always expected the business to do well, they never could have anticipated the demand and the fans they would amass. In fact, they never initially even dreamed of moving past their one truck.
“In five years we have gone from a single food truck to multiple outlets. We currently have two food trucks, Daniel Thaiger Sukhumvit 11, Daniel Thaiger at The Commons, and a central production kitchen which serves as a delivery hub.”
She recalled that they were kinda the only game in town for upscale burgers back then. “There wasn’t really a burger scene five years ago. There were only a handful of places doing gourmet-style burgers, now they are everywhere,” she said, noting that many of them are great.
One of the cool things about that, in her opinion, is with all the different styles available, everyone should be able to find one they love. Plus, the healthy competition also means that all the burger slingers will always have to bring their best burger game forward. No getting complacent and crappy.
Up next for the Thaiger brand is a launch in Siem Reap with a new truck at the end of this year or early next. After that, expansion into other nearby countries could be in the cards. They are also considering opening up in some further flung parts of Bangkok.
Delivery fans will be glad to hear of Thaiger’s focus on making delivery more efficient too — an issue that’s huge in Bangkok right now as Uber Eats has departed and other delivery services seem to struggle to meet demand. “We would love for a burger to be in people’s hands as quickly as possible from the time they order. That is one of our biggest initiatives right now.”
Unlike the old days, Honey’s pretty sure that they won’t run short of burgers at tomorrow’s party, but they are aware of their rather sizable fan base in Bangkok — many of whom will probably show up hungry — so as she said, “You never know.”
Daniel Thaiger’s 5th Anniversary at The Commons
The Commons, Village Floor
335 Thong Lor Soi 17
BTS Thong Lor