Fast-food giant Burger King U.K. is converting its Leicester Square branch into a 100% plant-based restaurant, from today, March 14 for an entire month. The entire 25-item menu, which includes the world famous Whopper, as well as a children’s section, is vegan-friendly.
Plant Based News broke the story, revealing it had been invited to an exclusive preview of the all-vegan menu. The move is a first for Burger King and one that took years of planning, according to the company.
If the plant-based location performs well, the chain says that it might consider opening meat-free branches permanently.
“The limited-edition menu is a direct result of our focus on vegan and plant-based innovation and goes hand in hand with our target of a 50 percent meat-free menu by 2031, as well as our commitment to sustainability and responsible business,” Katie Evans, marketing manager for Burger King UK said in a statement. “We can’t think of a more fitting way to re-launch our new-look flagship in Leicester Square. We’re incredibly proud of our new meat-free menu; it absolutely delivers on big taste with no compromises and reflects our ongoing commitment to serving our customers a diverse and innovative range of products.”
La Vie, the French Natalie Portman-backed vegan pork brand, confirmed on social media that they were behind the plant-based bacon on the menu. Our sources also tell us that Burger King chose Violife as their vegan cheese partner.
Despite not all of the products being served carrying the Vegan Trademark, Burger King has revealed that the whole menu is fully plant-based. It is not known if the company plans to have its new releases, including a ‘Bakon Double Cheeese Xl’ and ‘Cheeeze & Bakon Royale’, certified.
An ongoing partnership
Unlike in the U.S. where they partner with Impossible Foods and certain Asian markets where the patties are supplied by v2food, Burger King works with The Vegetarian Butcher for its meat substitutes across most European markets. For Veganuary, two developed plant-based chicken nuggets became available and are on offer at the vegan shop. Alongside nuggets, Whopper patties and Royale chicken fillets are supplied by the Unilever-owned Dutch brand, which claims they taste better than conventional meat.
“At The Vegetarian Butcher, we believe that plant-based foods should be just as tasty as meat and our juicy range of meat-free products prove just that – showing that consumers don’t need to sacrifice a thing when making a plant-based switch,” Laura Iliffe of The Vegetarian Butcher said in a statement. “We’re providing meat-lovers the chance to cut-down meat without compromising on taste. We challenge you to taste the difference!”
Meat-free fast food love-ins
A fully vegan Burger King location is a new concept but the chain is not adverse to embracing its meat-free diners. In October last year, it was reported that a Burger King restaurant in Madrid converted to an all-vegetarian menu for a month. The ‘Vurger King’ destination was launched in collaboration, again, with the Vegetarian Butcher. No special products were launched, but vegetarian versions of favourite regular menu items were available. Products could be made vegan by negating mayo during preparation. Earlier in the year, a meat-free location was opened in Cologne, Germany. Debuting in May, it was the world’s first entirely meatless Burger King restaurant.
Elsewhere in the fast-food sphere, Ready Burger, a permanently vegan chain, set out to lure convenience eaters with its meat-free menu that bears a striking resemblance to existing burgers et al. The London-based chain reduced the cost of its simple hamburger option, ahead of Veganuary this year, to just 99p. This made it the cheapest plant burger on the market and the price has remained in place.
The plant-based Burger King restaurant will be open from March 14 2022 to April 10 2022 in London’s Leicester Square.
All photos by Burger King.