Vegetarian pioneer Amy’s Kitchen just announced that it plans to expand its meatless drive-thru restaurants, setting a goal to have 25 to 30 future locations by 2027. The leading vegetarian brand launched its flagship drive-thru concept in 2015 and since has expanded to four locations with the most recent storefront opening earlier this month. Amy’s Drive-Thru aims to redesign the fast food industry, promoting sustainable and healthy ingredients while maintaining affordable prices.

“We’ve been committed to making organic vegetarian food since we started Amy’s Kitchen over three decades ago, and that commitment extended to Amy’s Drive-Thru when we opened our first location six years ago,” Amy’s CEO and Co-Founder Andy Berliner told VegNews. “We never could have imagined where we would be today with more and more people, especially younger generations, choosing to eat vegetarian and vegan.”

When the company launched its first location in Rohnert Park, California, it experience a huge unexpected turnout, counting more than 500 people waiting in line for the meatless fast-food meals. The vegetarian restaurant is also extremely vegan-friendly. Everything on the menu can be ordered vegan, making it accessible to any dietary preference. The innovative menu features vegan variations of several fast-food classics such as “The Amy” – the chain’s signature burger served with two veggie patties, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, a secret sauce, and optional cheese.

The plant-forward menu also offers vegan grilled cheeses, burritos stuffed with vegan ingredients, and a long list of salads, mains, sides, breakfast items, and milkshakes. The extensive menu earned the attention of customers across California, and soon the greater United States. Following its successful launch, the company opened a location in San Francisco and then a third store in Corte Madera, California.

Amy’s just opened its fourth location in Roseville, California on December 2. The newest location arrives alongside the company’s news regarding its Californian expansion. The company announced that its next two locations will open in Thousand Oaks and Aliso Viejo, California in 2022. By 2027, the company intends to make its vegetarian drive-thru available at 30 locations across California.

“We get so many requests from people across the country to open a drive-thru in their community,” Berliner said. “That’s our main motivation for opening more Amy’s Drive-Thrus. We want to make our food more accessible to more people.”

Vegan fast food is expanding at an unprecedented pace. Fast food giants like Burger King and McDonald’s have started incorporating plant-based menu items worldwide as more people demand vegan alternatives. Health and sustainable curiosity act as the main drivers for plant-based meat purchases, according to market intelligence firm Numerator. Beyond dietary restrictions, health motivators are pushing consumers towards plant-based foods, and Amy’s plans to provide a nutritional alternative.

“The restaurant industry, and fast food, in particular, has to evolve with our consumers. Younger consumers are really the ones fueling this excitement and the majority are making their own decision to omit animal protein altogether,” Berliner said. “We hope this motivates more restaurants to start serving more vegetarian and plant-based foods, more sustainably. It’s an exciting time to be in food and also a critical time for the future of our planet.”

In the face of the meat-dominant fast food industry, Amy’s is not taking on the industry giants alone. California-based Plant Power Fast Food recently launched its first location outside of California, providing fully vegan fast food for people across the United States. Following a real estate partnership, the fast-food company plans to bring healthier and affordable fast food options to consumers across the United States, boasting delicious food regardless of dietary preference.

“We’re grateful to see major chains adding plant-based options to their menus, but there’s no doubt that consumers are seeking out progressive new brands with an authentic commitment to taste and sustainability,” Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Harris said. “The massive growth that we’ve experienced since we started in 2016 is proof that the time is right for a major 100 percent plant-based, cruelty-free, sustainable, and healthier option in the fast-food segment.”

The 6 Best Fast Food Chains With Plant-Based Options on the Menu

Fast-food restaurants have finally got the memo that their customer base isn’t just coming through for a burger, fried chicken, or a beef taco. Many now have plant-based foods and are coming up with creative, delicious ways to get more greens on the menu. Here are the 6 best fast-food chains with plant-based options on the menu.

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