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Leading plant-based fast-casual eatery Veggie Grill has announced that it will open its second food concept, Stand-Up Burgers, a plant-based burger restaurant owing to increasing consumer demand for animal-free foods.
Veggie Grill was launched back in 2006 and today it is the largest vegan restaurant chain in the U.S. with 37 locations across the country. This eatery offers burgers, sandwiches, tacos, salads, bowls, and many more, thus being responsible for mainstreaming plant-based eating in the F&B scene, with over 70% of its customers identifying as non-vegetarian.
Previously, in January, the company launched Más Veggies Taqueria, a virtual Mexican restaurant, offering plant-based food delivery in California, Seattle, Portland, NYC and Boston.
To further address consumer demand for meatless dining, its second concept, Stand-Up Burgers will offer consumers animal-free burgers, fries and shakes with seven burgers featuring Impossible Burger patties and brioche buns. Other dishes include the Chili-Cheese Burger, The O.G. with Miyokos Cheddar, Tex-Mex Burger with spicy queso sauce, the signature double decker Stand-Up Burger and Save the Animal-style fries (a play on In-n-Out’s famous fries) with special sauce and grilled onions.
Stand Up’s menu will also feature The Freebird, a plant-based crispy ‘chicken’ sandwich with buffalo sauce, and the Falafel Wrap made from green chickpea falafel and topped with roasted peppers, tzatziki, arugula, cucumber, tomato, and tahini hot sauce wrapped in a spinach tortilla.
A portion of the sales from the restaurant will go to support both the Berkeley Humane Society and the vegan non-profit organization Support + Feed.
In a press release about the launch, Veggie Grill co-founder T.K. Pillan said that at their core, the team believes in doing good while you eat good. “Our new restaurant Stand-Up Burgers invites people to do just that and give voice to animals and the planet. At Veggie Grill we are on a mission to empower people to eat less meat by providing them with different innovative and delicious plant-based experiences. We are excited to introduce Stand-Up Burgers to the Berkeley community and soon to other locations nationwide.”
Our new restaurant Stand-Up Burgers invites people to do just that and give voice to animals and the planet. At Veggie Grill we are on a mission to empower people to eat less meat by providing them with different innovative and delicious plant-based experiences. We are excited to introduce Stand-Up Burgers to the Berkeley community and soon to other locations nationwideT.K. Pillan, co-founder, Veggie Grill
In an interview with Green Queen last year, Pillan shared how the pandemic has shaped consumer demand for plant-based food. “If you look at what’s happening in packaged food sales, you see incredible growth in the plant-based sector versus the traditional food industries. You’re seeing 200% growth in some categories, which is far higher than that of animal-based products. People are waking up to the fact they need to eat foods that are good for the environment because the future of the planet isn’t guaranteed, and for their own health and immunity too. We as a restaurant got hit hard during the initial weeks of the pandemic, but we’ve had quite a comeback over the summer and fall months. While urban locations are still a challenge because office workers have yet to come back, our suburban locations are positive year-on-year.”
Pillan further discussed the main gaps in the plant-based meat market that consumers are still looking for. “With chicken products, I know that there are going to be many new products in the category to bring these substitutes to another level. There are some areas where we’re not there but we’re seeing innovation, like bacon and pork. I think plant-based milk and burgers are the most worked-on so far. The seafood side, such as fish and shrimp is starting to come in alongside pork, chicken, bacon and deli meats, where I think there is a great opportunity for businesses with many consumers now looking for more options.”
In addition to his restaurants, Pillan is a partner and co-founder at PowerPlant Ventures, a growth equity fund investing in plant-centric brands, including early-stage brands such as Beanfields, Ripple, Hail Merry, Apeel Sciences, and leading brands like Beyond Meat and Eat Just.
To celebrate the launch, Stand-Up Burgers will be giving away a burger, shake, and fries to the first 300 people that arrive at the restaurant while another contest on its Instagram page will see one lucky Instagram follower win free burgers for an entire lifetime.
According to a report commissioned by the U.N., one of the most significant ways to reduce carbon emissions is to shift towards a plant-based diet.
In September of last year, a poll showed that around 60% of the American public are transitioning to a flexitarian or plant-based diet and due to the pandemic, there is a massive interest globally to transition to a plant-based diet or ditch animal products and embrace plant-based alternatives.
Hence, several other food chains are also hopping on the bandwagon of meatless offerings with Burger King outlets across the world rolling out plant-based Whoppers, including in Japan, South Korea, and most recently Thailand; KFC too joined forces with Beyond Meat, Quorn, & Lightlife, while Pizza Hut partnered with Beyond Meat to bring plant-based meat pizzas across the U.S.
In collaboration with Beyond Meat, McDonald’s has developed its own-brand meatless line called McPlant with the burgers presently being trialed in Denmark and Sweden, before a wider roll-out in other markets.
Lead image courtesy of Veggie Grill’s Facebook page.