Vegan chain PLNT Burger—owned by Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn—will expand into several brick-and-mortar locations in 2021. Mendelsohn opened his first location of the vegan fast-casual eatery in 2019 inside Whole Foods Market in Silver Spring, MD where he serves a variety of Beyond Burgers topped with Follow Your Heart’s vegan cheese, mushroom bacon, and guacamole, alongside Beyond Meat-based chili, Beyond Sausage-stuffed hot dogs, and vegan chicken sandwiches made with crispy oyster mushrooms. Within one year, Mendelsohn has expanded the concept to include seven locations inside Whole Foods Markets in the Washington, DC area and Pennsylvania. With this announcement, the chef aims to open a number of stand-alone PLNT Burger restaurants.  

“PLNT Burger has proven itself as the first successful fast-food chain to serve up only plant-based foods that taste as delicious as its competitors,” Mendelsohn said. “Whereas our focus will always be on creating planet-friendly food that is accessible to everyone, our number one goal is to give our customers the best tasting burger on the planet and for the planet.”

Mendelsohn created the PLNT Burger concept after Seth Goldman—the former Executive Chairman at Beyond Meat—introduced him to the vegan Beyond Burger. “I can’t recall a change in the American diet that has happened so quickly and so pervasively as the penetration of plant-based foods,” Goldman said. “At the same time, we are seeing the transformation of the restaurant industry—the sit-order-and-eat model that we grew up with might never come back. In order to continue succeeding, PLNT Burger will have to continue to anticipate and create a new model for quick service restaurants.”

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