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Hit-Or-Miss

This Vegan Chain Is Literally Replacing Your Favorite Fast Food Locations

Conversations and quotes in this article have been transcribed from the Foodbeast Katchup podcast: “#105: The First Vegan Drive-Thru,” out now on Spotify, the Apple Podcasts App, and all major platforms where podcasts are heard.

The plant-based movement has been making big shifts lately, as the thought of meatless meals have become a lot more common. One of the more ambitious moves have come from a San Diego, California-based fast food chain called Plant Power.

In 2017, Plant Power decided to fully embrace the essence of fast food and opened a location with a drive-thru. The easiest way to do that is to take over spaces that were already built for drive-thrus.

 

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While on the Foodbeast Katchup Podcast, Plant Power co-founder Jeffrey Harris spoke on trying to make plant-based fast food a normal thing, and doing so by taking over former meat-based fast food locations.

“There’s great poetic justice in taking over these existing meat-based restaurants,” Harris said. “We’ve already converted a Burger King. In Fountain Valley we’ve got a Carl’s Jr. converting. In Riverside we’ve got a Wienerschnitzel converting. “

Harris went on to explain how they expect Plant Power to be the first plant-based fast food restaurant to reach 100 total locations, an ambitious goal that means they’d have to jump Canadian-based Copper Branch, who already has over 60 locations, and have similar goals of expansion, according to Plant Based News.

Regardless, what Plant Power is doing in California is good for fast food, and if they keep taking over big chain locations that are closing down, it might just be telling of what is to come in the future for plant-based restaurants becoming the norm.

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Fast Food Plant-Based What's New

White Castle’s Impossible Slider Is So Successful They’re Making Limited-Edition Versions Now

With Del Taco, Qdoba, Burger King, and everyone else in fast food adding plant-based meat, it’s clear that vegan substitutes are the way forward for the industry. If that wasn’t enough proof for you, take a look at what White Castle is doing.

Photo courtesy of White Castle

The slider chain has been teaming up with Impossible Foods for a while now to create a ground-breaking vegan slider. Apparently, that partnership has proven to be such a big hit that they’re making limited-time offerings that feature the Impossible meat as part of their regular lineup.

For White Castle, that first Impossible Burger LTO is a BBQ Impossible Slider, which takes the vegan meat and slathers on barbecue sauce and crispy onions. It’s a pretty simple item, sure, but to add it to a lineup of BBQ sliders as part of an LTO speaks volumes as to how well the faux meat is performing for the chain.

To put that in context, test locations that ran the slider for White Castle saw a 250% jump in sales initially. Since then, sales of the meat-free item have been 30% higher than initial expectations, according to a Restaurant Business Online report.

More importantly, it’s huge that a fast food chain isn’t just creating a single meat-free burger alternative, but multiple using the same substitute. That shows how much this Impossible Meat is resonating with consumers, and if the trends are any indication, it’ll continue to dominate all of fast food for years to come.

White Castle’s OG Impossible Slider is still on menus everywhere, but the BBQ Impossible Slider will only be around for a limited time.