This vegetarian fast-food restaurant could give burger chains a run for their money

A vegetarian fast-food chain is on pace to give its burger-chain rivals some serious competition in the next few years.

In 2015, Amy’s Kitchen, a family-owned, California-based manufacturer of organic foods, opened Amy’s Drive Thru, America’s first vegetarian, organic, gluten-free-optional fast-food restaurant, in Sonoma Couny, according to Fast Company. Though the risk of entering the restaurant business was high, the manufacturer has since opened several more locations due to the success of its original establishment.

As the business publication notes, part of Amy’s Drive Thru’s appeal comes from the very fact that Amy’s Kitchen takes particular pride in sourcing all of its ingredients locally. Unlike other food brands, the company also reportedly creates recipes based on employee’s family recipe books, which, in turn, gives its products — and now restaurant chain â€” a certain authenticity that chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s can’t replicate.

While a typical Amy’s Drive Thru employs more than 90 people to prepare and serve the food, the restaurant chain has somehow managed to keep the cost of its meals down — a burger, for instance, can cost as low as $4.69 and a classic burrito is just $5.99. The affordable costs have made the restaurant an even more enticing fast-food option among customers.

“There were a number of us at the company who were involved in the planning, and before we opened the first location, we threw around a couple revenue numbers that we would have considered ‘a success,'” Amy’s food researcher and founder Fred Scarpulla Jr. told Fast Company in a 2017 interview.

Within the first year of the restaurant’s opening, Scarpulla said the company had doubled — even tripled — its numbers. Now, Amy’s hopes to build on that success by expanding across the U.S.

“When you think about drive-throughs, it’s all so focused on industrial meat, and one quick look at that industry is enough to tell you that it’s pretty nasty,” says Scarpulla.

For a full list of the chain’s menu items, click here.

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