SAN DIEGO – Plant Power Fast Food, a San Diego, California-based vegan fast-food restaurant, is known as the “vegan McDonald’s.” The micro-chain currently has two locations in the San Diego area, the first of which opened in 2016, but it plans to open new locations in Redlands and Long Beach later this year.
A Thrillist article describes the menu as a hybrid of Shake Shack and McDonald’s: “Customers can order everything from a ‘Fish’ Filet Sandwich to The Big Zac—a humbly named vegan cousin to the Big Mac—and wash it all down with thick ‘milkshakes’ made from almond milk.”
“My fear with being a vegan restaurant is you’re stigmatized into this ‘hippie realm,’” Zach Vouga, co-founder of Plant Power, told Thrillist. “We didn’t want to be that; we wanted to be a haven for people who want a burger, but maybe found out animal agriculture is a leading cause of greenhouse gases, or who maybe had a doctor tell them to watch their cholesterol.”
In the future, Plant Power hopes to become its own supplier to improve its environmental footprint and drive down prices. It also hopes to take the restaurant into inner-city areas where low-income families only see McDonald’s (and nonvegan options) in their food deserts.
The vegan movement is spreading fast—and the fast-food industry is catching on. Globally Local, the world’s first 24-hour vegan drive-thru based in Canada, is looking to expand to at least ten North American franchise locations.