Minneapolis, MN-based restaurant Hell’s Kitchen changed its menu and practices to make it easier for vegan customers to order the Impossible Burger. The restaurant first began offering the plant-based patty earlier this month but did not serve vegan buns, nor did it offer the option of cooking the vegan patty on a separate cooktop from meat. Impossible Foods’ mission is to displace meat on restaurant menus worldwide, and while the patty is vegan, partner restaurants can choose how they will serve it, which has led to some confusion for vegan diners. “While we tried our best not to mislead anybody,” Hell’s Kitchen communications manager Nathan Gerdes said, “between the excitement of the launch and the avalanche of press coverage, we should have been better-prepared to address potential confusion.” Gerdes said the restaurant will now offer vegan buns and cook the Impossible Burger on a vegan-friendly surface upon request. Restaurants in other cities, Gerdes said, warned Hell’s Kitchen about the amount of interest surrounding the Impossible Burger, which helped the eatery to pivot its offering to be vegan-friendly in an effort not to alienate potential customers. “We are truly flabbergasted and humbled by the sheer number of folks who’ve come in asking for the Impossible Burger,” Gerdes said. Impossible Foods first launched its innovative vegan patty in 2016 at upscale restaurants in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco and is now available at nearly 400 restaurants nationwide—some of which (such as Los Angeles-based Crossroads Kitchen) serve the burger sans animal products, while others (such as chain eatery Umami Burger) warn customers that the burger cannot be made vegan.
Photo courtesy of Crossroads Kitchen