If you’ve ever wished that you could swing through a drive-thru to pick up your favorite fast food without the side of “dieter’s remorse” that accompanies a double cheeseburger, then you’ll be on board with the latest trend: fast food without grease, salt or guilt.
This week, Chicago-based Lyfe Kitchens, owned by two former McDonald’s executives, opens its first store in Palo Alto, Calif. with further plans for as many as 250 outposts nationally over the next five years, joining other health-focused quick service restaurants including Chicago’s Ful 2 Live and the California based Native Foods Cafe.
“It’s going to be great tasting, satiating, familiar foods,” the company’s chief communications officer, Mike Donahue told the LA Times, “with no [genetically modified foods], no additives, nothing processed and everything under 600 calories.”
Dubbed by some as a “healthy McDonalds,” Lyfe’s first restaurant menu features the Classic Lyfe Burger, a grass-fed beef patty with pickles and agave-sweetened ketchup on a multigrain bun made with barley, corn and flax seeds. Anyone who does not wish to eat meat can substitute a Gardein brand veggie patty.
At the helm in the kitchen are Oprah Winfrey’s former chef, Art Smith, as well as vegan chef Tal Ronnen, who developed vegan menu options including Tal’s Ancient Grain Salad, Teriyaki Gardein Bowl, Sweet Corn Chowder with cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs and Chipotle Orange and Chayote Salad.
While all of the desserts will be dairy-free, you won’t find health trends or fad diet buzzwords like “gluten-free,” “vegan” or “dairy-free” plastered on everything.
Lyfe Kitchen, which stands for “Love Your Food Everyday” has implemented a wellness and health advisory panel to lend their recommendations to the new brand.
“In our ongoing mission to serve as a trusted lifestyle ally, Lyfe Kitchen will always explore ways to serve delicious, affordable food to active, taste-conscious families,” CEO Mike Roberts told QSRWeb.com. “We value all of the voices in the wellness community and will always strive to learn from their experiences.”