14 February 2011

Former McDonald’s execs to open healthy, vegan friendly chain of restaurants

As a vegetarian or vegan, have you ever dreamed of a healthy alternative to the McDonald's or Burger King that you see every few miles? Have you ever inwardly groaned as you ate yet another salad (no dressing of course), while your friends tucked into a burger and fries? If so, help looks to be on its way!

Two former McDonald’s executives are to open a new restaurant later this year, and their aim is to cater to the health conscious among us. With the help of celebrity chefs Art Smith and Tal Ronnen, the menu items for Lyfe Kitchen (Lyfe = Love Your Food Everyday) promise to be free of butter, cream and high-fructose corn syrup, un-fried, and all less than 600 calories. All of the desserts are rumored to be free of dairy, and while the entrees will have meat items, there will be vegetarian and vegan friendly foods such as a Gardein Burger, designed with the help of Ronnen.

Former McDonald’s President and Chief Operations Officer Mike Roberts, and former communications boss Mike Donahue, the brains behind Lyfe, plan to open their first establishment in Palo Alto, California this summer. The pair hopes to roll the concept out across America, planning as many as 250 locations within the next 5 years. They certainly have the business know-how to carry this out, but can it be successful?

With 190 million Americans reported to be overweight or even obese, and vegetarianism becoming more mainstream than ever, will people embrace Lyfe or stick to what they know best?

Bev Hahler | @redhotvegan
Bev, a vegetarian since she was 14 years old, became more interested in veganism several years ago after studying Agro-business as part of an Ecology degree. She has a gorgeous daughter in second grade who has been a vegetarian her whole life (lucky girl). Follow Bev on her blog and Facebook.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/megabeth