It’s hard not to notice the increasing popularity of vegan eating. From Good Morning America to Saturday Night Live, everyone’s talking about it. The topic of meatless meals has even graced the cover of one of the leading foodservice industry trade publications, Nation’s Restaurant News, which highlighted the increasing popularity and growing success of vegetarian and veg-friendly eateries across the U.S. Almost prophetically, when the question was posed in a 2011 article about whether America is ready for a national vegetarian restaurant chain, Aviv Schweitzer, the operations manager for Maoz USA, responded: “It think it’s a fact; it’s not really a question anymore.”
Jump to 2013 and here are the facts: Native Foods Café, a popular all-vegan eatery with 14 locations in California, Illinois and Oregon, just announced plans to open 200 new locations in the next 5 years. This is great news for everyone — including animals!
While Native Foods Café has primarily based its roots on the West Coast, the planned expansion will bring the restaurant to East Coast, including stores in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington.
According to The Desert Sun, six to eight new locations are planned to open by the end of this year, and 45 locations are planned to open by the end of 2014.
Native Foods Café was founded in 1994 in Palm Springs, California, and has since moved its headquarters to Chicago, Illinois. The restaurant prides itself on serving homemade, fresh food with entrees like the Rockin’ Moroccan Bowl and the Portobello and Sausage Burger. Diners can also browse through their dessert menu that includes, among other options, a Peanut Butter Parfait, Double Delight Brownie, and Homemade Apple Pie!
It’s not surprising that vegan restaurants are doing well. As stated in a Supermarket News magazine article predicting the Top Ten Food Trend Predictions for 2013, “a major shift is anticipated in the nation’s protein food supply away from meat-based proteins and shifting to meatless proteins.”