As Americans continue to clamor for more veg-strong options — and less meat and dairy — the West coast-based Veggie Grill is coming to the rescue. After much success and accolades, this popular vegan chain is now setting its sights on expanding coast to coast, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.
The largest, most successful vegetarian restaurant chain in the US, Veggie Grill has found an audience with everyone — omnivores and herbivores alike. In fact, 70 to 80 percent of the chain’s customers aren’t vegan, or even vegetarian. The concept launched in 2006, and now has 29 locations across California, Washington and Oregon.
“We call these people who are putting veggies at the center of the plates and celebrate this kind of eating as ‘veggie positive.’ Research we’ve done shows there are millions and millions of veggie positive adults in the U.S.,” Veggie Grill’s chief energizing officer Greg Dollarhyde told Nation’s Restaurant News. The publication, considered a leading trade outlet for the industry, has covered meatless eating before, and continues to stay on top of the rise in plant-based cuisine.
Veggie Grill customers have been actively asking for more fresh, healthy, veggie-strong options — versus more meat substitutes — Dollarhyde says in the interview. Items like crispy cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bowls, and quinoa burgers taking off in popularity in recent years.
Another publication, QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) magazine, also highlighted the plant-based trend in a recent piece. The article talks about the growing number of plant-based fast food and fast casual eateries, and the hip, youthful appeal of the movement. And with chains like Wendy’s, Subway, and Panera adding vegan options, it’s clear that mainstream eaters are interested in new choices.
“If you told me five years ago we’d have a restaurant doing $2.7 million serving vegan food, I would have laughed,” Dollarhyde added.
You can join the “veggie-positive” fun by taking the VegPledge and participating in VegWeek, April 18-24!