SUNS OUT, BUNS OUT – KICKING BACK WITH MAPS MAPONYANE
Spend the day with media icon Maps Maponyane and learn more about his award-winning burger joint in Joburg.
To take a break from the everyday hustle, The Insider SA joined Maps Maponyane – our very own “Mr Buns” – as he kicks back on the golf course. As both a media personality, philanthropist, and now co-owner of one of the world’s best burger restaurants, Buns Out; 2020 wasn’t easy. But Maps always finds a way to make it work.
Maps opened his first Buns Out in September 2019. It took him and his team just one week to flip the vacant building into a trendy, new eatery. Within five months of opening its doors, Buns Out was named by Bloomberg as one of the best burger joints in the world, rated by star chefs and culinary elites.
While Maps earned his stripes in the restaurant industry, nobody could have predicted the year 2020 would’ve been. Lockdown proved challenging for small-business owners everywhere, including Maps. As a result, March 2020 saw the temporary shutdown of his burger joints.
But a new year has brought new opportunities for Maps. In between all the hustle, Maps makes time for a much needed break. We join him at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club where Maps shares his love for golf.
“I think it’s really important to be able to take time out from my busy schedule to do the things that I enjoy doing,” shares Maps. “I definitely want to focus on the simple pleasures a whole lot more, especially after the year that we’ve had. If these things can re-energise me and fill me up in a way that brings me joy, excitement, and revitalisation, then I can do everything I do a whole lot better.”
Maps discovered golf in high school while recovering from an injury. “I enjoyed the fact that I could do an activity that was competitive and that didn’t cause me more damage. After that, I was hooked.”
But while Maps wishes he could spend all day chipping on the course, work needs to be done. At the Linden-based Buns Out, Maps walks us through his inspiration behind the trendy Joburg eatery.
“Buns Out is a passion project that came about while I was having a conversation with one of my best friends, Tom Savage. We’ve always loved food; we’ve always loved restaurants. He’s been in hospitality before and a lot of my life and work is in hospitality too.”
But, of all things, why burgers? “Well, it’s simple,” says Maps, “Who doesn’t love burgers?”. Maps shares the great privilege he feels in creating food everyone can enjoy and that brings people together.
It’s said that Buns Out burgers “demand to be devoured.” And if you’re vegetarian or vegan – there’s options for you too! Maps explains, “Burgers don’t have to be something you feel terrible guilt about eating. We try and source the freshest and best ingredients for our burgers and make a slightly healthier, more delicious alternative”.
As challenging as times have been, Maps’ burgers have reached cult status, leading to the second Buns Out opening in Rosebank. As Maps says, “If you take some risk, you may have great reward.”
There’s nothing like a good burger and a cold brew. Whether your grabbing a quick bite or looking to lounge a bit longer, Buns Out is most certainly one of the hottest place to hang out with friends this summer.
From being a model and actor, to TV presenter and fashion designer; Maps has achieved great things. And with so much life still ahead of him, realising the dream of owning his own chain of burger restaurants is just the beginning.