A few former McDonald’s big-wigs are breathing new life into the fast food industry. They’re throwing out the artificial ingredients and hauling in a sustainable chain of restaurants that Americans can be proud to eat at. Lyfe (Love Your Food Everyday) Kitchen is scheduled to open it’s first location this summer. If all goes according to plan, 250 more will open in the next five years. With a healthful nod to philanthropy and eco-friendly practices, Lyfe promises to give us a refreshing take on fast food.
Time Magazine’s Healthland describes Lyfe as, “a no-butter, no-high-fructose-corn-syrup and fried-food-free restaurant chain.” Forget about fast food, Lyfe is all about providing good food, fast. Co-founder Stephen Sidwell said, “Every decision we make — from using eco-friendly building and packaging materials, to ingredients we source, to providing an engaged service team and partnering with local nonprofits — will engage and inspire our guests, and ultimately, have a tremendous impact.” Lyfe intends to offer a chain that models social and ecological responsibility. Ingredients will be sourced locally and there will be plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. Their target audience is women, ages 18 to 49, seeking health food. Healthier options of more traditional fast foods (like a big, juicy burger) will be available as well.
The trouble lies in the fact that selling health food can be a bit of trouble. Awareness is mounting, but many Americans are still put-off by the term. Chains such as Chipotle have done well with introducing healthier fare into the age of convenience but it’s not an easy task. However, if anyone can successfully marry health, convenience and pure deliciousness, I would guess that the Lyfe team can. Among the players are: Mike Roberts, former McDonald’s president; Tal Ronnen, celebrity chef and owner of Chicago’s Table Fifty-Two; and Stephen Sidwell, investment banker. California will be home to the first Lyfe Kitchen, so let us know how it goes!
March 2nd, 2011