Kevin Hart Opens His Own Vegan Fast Food Chain. Here’s Where to Try It
Kevin Hart loves a vegan burger, joining plant-based meat brand Beyond Meat’s team in 2019. But now, the actor and comedian is taking plant-based cooking into his own hands, announcing that he will open a vegan fast-food chain Hart House in Los Angeles this summer. Teaming up with entrepreneur and CEO Andy Hooper and Chef Michael Salem, Hart intends to fuel the growing vegan fast food market and bring specialty plant-based food to customers at an affordable price.
With the help of Chef Salem’s expertise, Hart’s new vegan fast food concept will cater to the growing demand for quick, delicious, plant-based options. Salem previously helped Burger King roll out the Impossible Whopper during his time as the head of culinary innovation at the major fast-food corporation.
Hart House’s menu will include classic fast-food staples such as burgers, nuggets, fries, and oat milk-based milkshakes. The selection will exclude all animal products, high fructose corn syrup, and preservatives. Hart and Salem worked for two years to develop a plant-based menu that seamlessly replaces all the indulgent fast-food comfort classics that American consumers love.
“I am thrilled to announce that I have collaborated with an all-star team of partners and industry leaders to create an industry-changing restaurant called Hart House,” Hart announced on Instagram. “This thing is going to be huge! We’re going to serve delicious, sustainable food that delivers can’t-believe-it-flavor in every bite. We’ll be opening our first few locations in the LA area, but we will be expanding quickly.”
Joining the Plant-Based Fast Food Movement
Hart’s new plant-based concept aims to open several locations as well as food trucks and catering services. The Hart House chain will help increase the accessibility to plant-based foods nationwide, but the company claims it will not use typically plant-based callout advertisement tactics. This means that Hart wants to emphasize that the plant-based fast-food menu will provide the same indulgent classics as conventional fast food.
"Kevin sort of conceptualized this idea at the beginning of the pandemic," Hooper told L.A. Mag, which got a private tasting of the menu. "If I were advising him at the time, I would say, 'Don't you dare ever start a restaurant, and don't you ever start a restaurant in the middle of COVID,' but after almost two years of really working on this menu and getting the food to a place where it can deliver on that promise, we're ready to go and we're excited to tell the world about Hart House and excited to serve the food."
While plant-based fast food is growing rapidly, expected to reach $40 billion by 2028, Hart House will need to cater to more than just vegans. Hart personally called on Salem to create a menu that would appeal to meat-eaters and vegans alike. Last year, searches for “vegan food near me” grew 5,000 percent, meaning that more people than ever are looking for a quick meal that’s more sustainable and healthy. Hart and Salem intend to tap into this growing interest with Hart House’s expansive menu.
“It’s one thing when you hear someone’s idea and you get excited about working with a celebrity. It’s another thing when you hear about somebody’s idea and it actually really resonates with your life’s work and that’s what happened to me,” Salem told Los Angeles Magazine. “I’ve seen too many animals die. I’ve been too guilty about the food I’ve been serving the community, making people really unhealthy for a long time, and I just don’t think it’s necessary.
“I think this is really the future of fast food, so that’s why I took the gig. I just thought it was an incredible chance to really make a difference and leave a legacy on food service and an industry that’s been so good to me.”
Kevin Hart's Vegan Ventures
In 2019, Hart revealed that he follows a “mostly plant-based” diet and invested in Beyond Meat. Since then, the celebrity has participated in several Beyond Meat campaigns, promoting the environmental and health benefits of switching to a plant-based diet. Hart also helps emphasize that it is easy to shift towards a plant-based diet without feeling the pressure of adopting a fully plant-based diet immediately. Talking to Joe Rogan in 2020, Hart noted that adding vegan options can be an easy process.
"Just because you make the decision to go and try plant-based, doesn't mean you have to [be engulfed] in that world," Hart told Rogan. "Learn it, understand it, and see if there are benefits that work for you."
This April, Kevin Hart also joined an impressive cast of celebrities in investing with the vegan drink maker Koia. With Chris Paul, The Weeknd, NLE Choppa, and more, Hart became one of the company’s all-star investors as the beverage brand promotes its healthy, vegan drinks.
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