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Vegan franchises seek to appeal to vegetarians and meat eaters | Franchise News

ByStephanie M. Akbar

Sep 9, 2022





VeganBurg takes a different approach with its menu, using a few patty options, such as its signature plant-based protein patty, a “crab” patty, and a “fish” patty.


Nomoo founder George Montagu Brown’s journey to found a plant-based burger franchise is unusual, given his experience running a internet business in Costa Rica and operating a luxury hotel. Now he aims to get meat eaters to try his vegan creations.







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Georges Montagu Brown


“I really think we’ve cracked the code on flavors and textures and the overall experience that makes it equally popular for meat eaters and vegans alike,” Montagu Brown said. “Most of our customers are not vegan. That’s kind of why we’re here to transform fast food from the inside out.

Nomoo (pronounced “No moo,” as in, no cows) is one of many plant-based burger franchises trying to become the next big fast-food chain. The herbal retail market was valued at $7 billion last year, according to Good Food Instituteand more and more franchises are springing up in the United States.

The Los Angeles-based concept may seem like a dime in its hometown — there are five within a mile, according to Montagu Brown — but it’s convinced its food is delicious and unique enough to stand out in a crowd.

“Literally everything we make, from the chicken shakes we use to our ‘Plant-Fil-A’ hot chicken sandwiches, is designed to be as realistic as possible,” Montagu Brown said. He’s developed a pea-protein burger with food maker Nestlé Professional set to launch in October, and through the partnership he’s creating other exclusive products such as a vegan chicken burger and cheese. vegan.

Nomoo works with FranSmart to expand its footprint beyond its single store. FranSmart helped Five Guys succeed and Montagu Brown hopes for a similar result. He even considers Nomoo the plant equivalent of Five Guys. “They didn’t invent the cheeseburger, they just made it a little better,” he said. “I think we make products that we do a little bit better than others.”

The investment required to open a Nomoo unit ranges from $328,000 to $732,500.

Nomoo does not use the word “vegan” when talking about its products, despite the absence of animal and meat derivatives in its entries.

“We want to be inclusive. We want to be introductory. We want everyone to come and enjoy our food,” Montagu Brown said.

Startups aim for scale

Competition in the vegetable catering segment is intensifying, with several emerging brands seeking to stand out. Canadian chain Odd Burger has seven units open and 10 more in development. The brand launched its first store in 2017 and its own food manufacturing center in 2018. The company, which is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange in Canada and in the United States on the OTCQB Venture market, announced an increase of 205 % of its revenue for the third quarter over a year ago, at $787,585.

Vegan franchise Stalk and Spade opened its first store in Wayzata, Minnesota in early 2021 and has since signed deals to open new stores in Iowa, Minnesota and Florida.

Another new plant-based concept is Stand-Up Burgers, from the folks behind Veggie Grill, which has four locations between California and Chicago. The brand combines its activism with plant-based meals with bold flavors.







Veganburg San Francisco Exterior #2.jpg

VeganBurg may only have two stores open, in Singapore and San Francisco, but it is planning massive growth.


VeganBurg may only have two stores open, in Singapore and San Francisco, but it is planning massive growth. The franchise takes a different approach with its menu, using a few patty options, such as its signature plant-based protein patty, a “crab” patty, and a “fish” patty.

Franchisees have the option of serving an Impossible or Beyond veggie burger in their stores as a local-only option, said Ralph Piselli, who manages franchise development for the brand. International chains like Burger King, on the other hand, only serve one of the two major brands.

“They serve Beyond or Impossible,” Piselli said. “There’s a plus and a minus to that, because you’ll always be loyal. It’s like Coke or Pepsi.

The cost of opening a VeganBurg restaurant ranges from $349,750 to $673,000.

Piselli brings 36 years of experience with Subway to VeganBurg, and he plans to use his development knowledge to expand VeganBurg worldwide. For him, it’s about choosing the right franchisees who really want to be involved in the business, rather than “delegating everything”.

“And we want to build a solid base. It’s not about rapid growth,” Piselli said. (Franchisees criticized his former employer, Subway, for its rapid global growth.)

He used the slow but prominent expansion of Chick-fil-A as an example. “They’ve taken a long time to get where they are, but look what they’ve built. They have built strong franchise owners. They have built successful restaurants. They did it well.


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