Vegan Fast Food Joint Is the First Drive Thru to Serve Beyond Burgers
Image source: Beyond Meat
Senior Editor | New York City, NY | Contactable via: kat@livekindly.com

Kat has been writing about veganism, environment, and sustainability for five years. Their interests include over-analyzing the various socioeconomic forms of oppression, how that overlaps with veganism, and how the media in all of its forms reflects the current culture.

Santana’s Vegan Grill, a vegan fast food drive-thru restaurant based in Colorado Springs, Colo., says it will serve the Beyond Burger on its menu.

The restaurant, which opened earlier this year, serves vegan versions of classic comfort food fare like burgers featuring the Beyond Meat Beyond Burger patty, “chicken” strips, fries, and hot dogs. It operates exclusively as a drive-thru and does not have indoor seating. Since opening, the restaurant was named the second must-visit spot in a ranking of vegan Colorado restaurants by The Gazette and has attracted attention for its burgers from two publications.

“[Owner Dusty] Hernandez gives the patty a sear on a hot grill for flavor-enhancing goodness. Fresh lettuce, tasty tomato, and a delicious bun seal the deal,” wrote one reviewer for The Gazette.

“This new spot might just create more conscious eaters in the Springs, offering a plant-based fast food burger that does a hell of a job replacing the real thing,” a reviewer in a print issue of The Independent wrote. Hernandez posted a snapshot of the review via the restaurant’s Instagram.

Due to its realistic taste and texture that mimics the texture of a traditional beef patty, the Beyond Burger has been a popular addition to the menu of many meat-heavy restaurants, most notably T.G.I. Fridays, which has hundreds of locations throughout the US. Luna Grill, a fast food chain with 43 locations in California and Texas, also added the burger to its menu, and the patty is now available at all Bareburger locations in the country. It can also be found on the menu of vegan fast food chain Veggie Grill, which is set to open more locations this year, as well as a number of independent restaurants. To this date, the Beyond Burger has sold over 11 million patties since launching in 2016.

While the world is not without options for vegan drive-thrus, such as Canada’s Globally Local, which opened a 24-hour drive-thru in June 2017 and the vegetarian and gluten-free Amy’s Drive Thru in California, the choices are few and far between. Last year, Amy’s announced that it had plans to open an additional six restaurants in California and hopes to eventually expand throughout the country.

Earth Burger in Texas began serving its customers the vegan Beyond Burger earlier this year.

[Editor’s Note: April 6, 2018: This article was corrected. It stated that Santana’s was the first drive-thru to serve the Beyond Burger but Earth Burger began serving it to its customers in January.]


Image source: Beyond Meat