Vegan Restaurant Information of the Week: Robotic-Made Meatless Meals, “Huge Macs” in Texas, and Extra

The times of boring salads are formally behind us with thrilling vegan restaurant information cropping up each week. Milk and cookies is a basic pairing that’s not only for Santa anymore because of a collaboration between Oatly and Insomnia Cookies. 

Vice Burger simply opened in Fort Value, TX the place plant-based takes on quick meals is the secret, together with its signature burger which locals have already dubbed a vegan Huge Mac. 

And Chipotle’s founder and former CEO Steve Ells, is slated to open Kernel—the place your meatless burgers and plant-based hen sandwiches can be made by robots. Learn on for extra. 

1Meatless burgers made by robots

Steve Ells, the founder and former CEO of Chipotle, is embarking on a brand new restaurant enterprise known as Kernel, which is slated to open in early 2024 in Manhattan, NY. 

Kernel will characteristic a vegetarian menu in a fast-casual setting, comparable in value to Chipotle. What’s distinctive to Kernel, nonetheless, is its reliance on automation, with robots dealing with most kitchen duties, supported by a minimal human crew, a transfer partly impressed by Chipotle’s historic meals issues of safety.


Ells has invested $10 million in Kernel, with an extra $36 million from different traders. The corporate, led by president Stephen Goldstein, will use automation for duties like warming buns and transferring pans, whereas human employees will finalize dishes.

Ells’ first challenge since leaving Chipotle in 2020, Kernel goals to ultimately set up 15 places in New York Metropolis. This strategy follows a broader pattern of automation within the meals {industry}, as seen with corporations similar to Sweetgreen and Botbar Espresso.

This shift within the fast-food {industry} displays rising prices and labor shortages. Kernel plans to make use of automation financial savings for greater wages and higher advantages for its workers.

For its half, Chipotle has been an early adopter of meatless proteins and added tofu-based sofritas in 2015. Since Ells’ departure, the chain additionally explored different plant-based choices, together with vegan chorizo it developed in-house. 

Final 12 months, Chipotle—by means of its enterprise arm Domesticate Subsequent—additionally helped Meati Meals increase $150 million in a collection C funding spherical to help the expansion of its mushroom root-based vegan meats. 

2Vegan milkshakes in Milan

This month, vegan chain Neat Burger opened its latest location in Milan, Italy. Backed by high-profile traders similar to Lewis Hamilton and Leonardo DiCaprio, Neat Burger’s entry into the nation follows its profitable institution of 10 shops in numerous international places together with London’s Oxford Circus, New York’s Nolita neighborhood, and Dubai Mall within the UAE. 

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“Disrupting our meals system with sustainable options is likely one of the key methods we are able to make an actual distinction in lowering international emissions,” DiCaprio beforehand mentioned in a press release. 

“Neat Burger’s pioneering strategy to various proteins is a superb instance of the kind of options we’d like transferring ahead,” DiCaprio mentioned.

The Italian outlet is located within the sizable Merlata Bloom buying middle, positioned between the previous Expo space and Cascina Merlata.

In keeping with its different branches, the Milan store will serve quite a lot of conventional fast-food gadgets, similar to plant-based burgers, hen sandwiches, nuggets, fries, wraps, burritos, milkshakes, and extra.

A singular side of the Milan department, much like the Dubai location, is the introduction of desk service, a characteristic not current within the London and US eating places.

Together with serving completely plant-based meals, the Milan outlet will emphasize eco-friendly practices, together with using plastic-free packaging and pledges to plant a tree for each sandwich offered.

3Late-night milk and cookies

Late-night bakery Insomnia Cookies and vegan firm Oatly are proving that milk and cookies usually are not only for Santa anymore with a collaboration that offers everybody an opportunity to savor the basic combo. 

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This collaboration introduces Oatly’s Authentic and Chocolate Oatmilk to Insomnia Cookies places throughout the US, bringing a non-dairy model of the long-lasting pairing of milk and cookies to all 245 shops of the bakery chain. 

“Among the many most quintessential of meals combos must be milk and cookies,” Mike Messersmith, President of Oatly North America, mentioned in a press release. 

“Insomnia Cookies has constructed a tremendous model and fame for offering incredible cookies and extra, at any time when individuals are craving them, and we all know that our Oatly oatmilks can be an ideal complement to any order,” he mentioned.

Insomnia Cookies, a model celebrated for its handy late-night heat cookie supply service, has frequently expanded its menu to cater to various dietary wants. In November 2020, Insomnia Cookies launched a vegan cookie line to commemorate World Vegan Day, introducing flavors similar to Chocolate Chunk, Double Chocolate Chunk, and Birthday Cake. 

“We now have been working laborious in our Cookielab on scrumptious vegan cookies that each one Insomniacs can get pleasure from,” Tom Carusona, CMO of Insomnia Cookies, informed VegNews on the time. “World Vegan Day is the proper day to introduce these wonderful new cookies and formally kick off our vegan line, which has extra thrilling creations to come back.”


Clients can now get pleasure from Oatly’s oat milk in 11-ounce single-serve sizes alongside Insomnia’s vary of cookies, together with their vegan choices, both in-store or by means of on-line ordering platforms. 

4Vegan “Huge Macs” in Texas

Vice Burger, a novel plant-based eatery based by Charlsye Lewis, is redefining the fast-food panorama in Fort Value, TX. The catchphrase “have your vice and eat it, too” encapsulates the essence of Vice Burger, providing a vegan twist on basic fast-food favorites in a comfy setting with a service bar, countertop seating, and a aspect patio that accommodates 30 to 40 folks.

Vice Burger encompasses a concise vegan fast-food menu. The choice contains burgers with a alternative of Unimaginable or Past patties, the Vice Canine produced from Area Roast plant-based Stadium canines, and a spread of toppings similar to sauerkraut, roasted purple peppers, and relish. 

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Based on native media outlet Fort Value Journal, the eatery’s signature Vice Burger tastes similar to a vegan model of McDonald’s iconic Huge Mac however with none of the meat. 

Moreover, the menu affords a vegan hen sandwich with Vertage pepper jack cheese, hand-cut fries, milkshakes, and a kid-friendly choice of nuggets and grilled cheese sandwiches. 

Founder Lewis pivoted to Vice Burger from Boulevard of Greens, which provided contemporary smoothies, cold-pressed juices, and low drinks from Roots Espresso Home (additionally owned by Lewis). The idea struggled to draw the mandatory quantity of enterprise and the change to Vice Burger displays a strategic transfer to cater to a broader viewers with extra enjoyable and accessible meals choices.

5Chocolate that’s a win-win for all

For a candy end this week, a brand new moral various to standard chocolate has develop into out there to bakeries, eating places, and confectionery teams. The mission of confection firm Wnwn Meals Labs is to create a extra equitable international chocolate {industry} by eradicating its reliance on unethical parts of its provide chain similar to mass cocoa manufacturing (usually tied to youngster labor) and dairy. 

Out there in each darkish and plant-based milk chocolate kinds, Wnwn’s goodies are designed for ease of use in numerous culinary functions, coming in user-friendly codecs like 1.5-kilogram pouches and bigger 10-kilogram packs.


Founders Johnny Drain and Ahrum Pak make the most of fermentation to show elements similar to carob and barley right into a chocolate substitute that mimics the style and texture of actual chocolate. This strategy not solely addresses moral issues but additionally considerably reduces carbon emissions in comparison with conventional chocolate manufacturing.

Wnwns various chocolate merchandise are engineered to behave equally to standard chocolate when it comes to melting, texture, and viscosity, making them a simple substitute in numerous recipes. 

The corporate is getting into the B2B channel—the place its merchandise can catalyze industry-wide change—at a time when the chocolate {industry} is projected to develop to $312 billion by 2030.

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