'The Least expensive Vegan Hamburger of All Time’ Is Already In These 3 Cities, And It's Coming to a Fourth

In 2019, Burger King modified the trajectory of the American fast-food business when the worldwide chain launched the Inconceivable Whopper to its menus throughout 7,000 places within the US. 4 years later, quite a few mainstream fast-food and fast service eating places have launched vegan-friendly burgers in an effort to cater to meat-free customers. 

However vegan choices at mainstream eating places aren’t the one plant-based improvements on the rise—fully vegan fast-food ideas have additionally taken a foothold with customers, no matter their dietary habits.  

VegNews.MrCharliesLAMr. Charlie’s

Maybe one of the well-known vegan fast-food ideas immediately is Mr. Charlie’s. After launching in Los Angeles in February 2022, Mr. Charlie’s shortly rose to prominence, with followers on TikTok dubbing the restaurant the “vegan McDonald’s.” 

Using the wave of its new cult following, Mr. Charlie’s opened its second location in San Francisco lower than a 12 months later. And extra lately, the micro-chain opened its latest location in Venice, CA this July. 

Mr. Charlie’s inexpensive vegan burgers

Mr. Charlie’s prides itself on paying above minimal wage and serving to staff construct credit score. However, the restaurant can be making important strides in making veganism extra accessible. 

Shortly after Mr. Charlie’s rose to prominence on TikTok due to rave evaluations from the likes of Lizzo and on a regular basis customers, the restaurant heard one critique time and time once more: it’s too costly. 

VegNews.Mr.CharliesNotaHamburgerMondayMr. Charlie’s

With its “vegan McDonald’s” nickname, Mr. Charlie’s confronted fixed comparability to the true McDonald’s, which affords a lot decrease costs however at the price of decrease worker wages and the cruelty of animal agriculture. 

Since this preliminary wave of criticism, Mr. Charlie’s has organized promotions and giveaways to make its meals extra accessible. 

Just lately, the micro-chain rolled out Not a Hamburger Mondays. Each Monday, from 11:11am to 4:20pm, prospects should purchase a Not a Hamburger (a traditional burger made with Inconceivable Meat patties) for $0.99. 

“It’s the most affordable vegan hamburger of all time and a method to assist convert individuals to [plant-based food],” Taylor McKinnon, Mr. Charlie’s co-founder, tells VegNews. “The entire level is to encourage those that have by no means tried Mr. Charlie’s to return by, nevertheless it’s additionally a enjoyable promo for individuals who already like it.”

“The Not a Hamburger is my favourite menu merchandise, simply tremendous easy and it hits the spot,” McKinnon says. 

Alongside Not a Hamburger Mondays, the micro-chain has additionally launched Not a Hen Sandwich Wednesday, the place prospects can purchase one Not a Hen Sandwich (made with Tindle’s vegan hen) and get one free from 11:11am to 4:20pm. 

Good vegan jobs

Whereas Mr. Charlie’s is only one of a number of vegan fast-food eating places ushering in a brand new period of fast-food, it’s main the cost in relation to its hiring practices.

In Los Angeles, Mr. Charlie’s companions with the Dream Middle, a nationwide group that helps unhoused and previously incarcerated individuals get again on their toes by offering them with housing, coaching, and extra assets. Greater than a dozen of the restaurant’s Los Angeles staff are Dream Middle members. 

And in San Francisco, Mr. Charlie’s follows an identical hiring mannequin, working with GLIDE and City Alchemy—two organizations dedicated to serving to the unhoused. 

VegNews.MrCharliesVeniceMr. Charlie’s

In Venice, CA, Mr. Charlie’s latest outpost saved 14 jobs. After a neighborhood vegan restaurant unexpectedly shuttered, its 14 staff have been left with out pay they have been owed, and in the end, with out jobs. Mr. Charlie’s—which prides itself on its distinctive, mission-driven hiring practices—swooped in. 

“I pulled an emergency assembly [with my co-founders] Charlie Kim and Aaron Haxton, and I simply requested, ‘What does Mr. Charlie’s stand for?’ And so they mentioned, ‘We create alternatives for individuals,’” McKinnon says.

Collectively, the trio agreed to rent and prepare all 14 people, and immediately, all 14 are working at Mr. Charle’s Venice, CA outpost. 

With their eyes set on growth, McKinnon, Kim, and Haxton will deliver “the most affordable vegan hamburger of all time” and it’s two-for-one hen sandwich to its fourth outpost simply outdoors of Sydney, Australia. 

Mr. Charlie’s expands to Australia

For its first worldwide location, Mr. Charlie’s is eyeing Redfern, Australia, a metropolis roughly three miles south of Sydney. Within the works since 2022, Mr. Charlie’s Redfern location will maintain its gentle launch on September 30. 

McKinnon beforehand lived in Sydney for quite a few years and was particularly drawn to Redfern after watching Rabbit-Proof Fence, a movie primarily based on a novel of the identical identify, a number of years in the past.


The movie depicts the true life plight of three ladies who, after they’re torn away from their Aboriginal mom, are despatched away to a government-run camp dedicated to integrating the younger ladies into white society. 

Rabbit-Proof Fence left an enduring impression on McKinnon, and when the chance to deliver Mr. Charlie’s to Australia introduced itself, he knew he wished to assist empower and uplift the nation’s Aboriginal communities. 

Like so many indigenous populations the world over, Aboriginal communities have a historical past marked by painful authorities insurance policies and genocides. As of June 2021, indigenous individuals make up solely 3.8 p.c of the whole inhabitants. Right this moment, Redfern is taken into account an Aboriginal hub. 

Mr. Charlie’s is already working with the Aboriginal Employment Providers to assist present jobs for local people members as soon as Mr. Charlie’s opens its doorways in Redfern. 

“We might be not less than 30 to 40 p.c Aboriginal employed,” McKinnon says. “It needs to be this fashion. We’re right here to create a brand new normal the place everyone seems to be equal, regardless of the place we come from or what we seem like.”

Positioned proper subsequent to the Aboriginal Employment Technique (AES), Mr. Charlie’s Australia outpost is supposed to serve the neighborhood. “They’ve actually been supportive and saying ‘We’re right here to make it possible for this serves our neighborhood as effectively,’” George Zeon, Mr. Charlie’s Worldwide Director, tells VegNews. 

Past creating jobs, Mr. Charlie’s has additionally dedicated to offering infrastructure help to the Redfern Group Centre. “Town of Redfern could be very wealthy in historical past,” Zeon says. “There are individuals who have been there for years. 

“All people there actually provides worth, and for me, I simply actually wished to go in with questions of ‘What do you want? How can we assist?” he says. “It was nerve wracking for me, however I wished to introduce [Mr. Charlie’s] and what we stand for.”

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