We know far too well how this story goes. You’re on the road and need to stop for a bite, or on the way to work and forgot to pack a lunch, or you’re just craving a quick snack.
As gluten-free dieters, it’s slim pickins at fast food restaurants.
In addition to menus having little to no options for us, often times the gluten-free items are hiding on the menu.
It’s also hard to find restaurants that use dedicated fryers, and often times staff aren’t knowledgeable about gluten, making the possibility of cross-contamination or mistakes likely.
All of that is about to change, with a fast-food restaurant initiative that not only is going to give us options, but is going to give us the entire menu.
Amy’s Kitchen, a well known organic food brand known for its gluten-free options, will launch Amy’s Drive Thru later this summer. The first branch will open in Rohnert Park, California, a city north of San Francisco.
The menu will reflect the organic and locally grown ideals that Amy’s Kitchen is known for, and will feature items such as burritos, pizza, meat-free burgers, macaroni and cheese, shakes, chili, salads, and french fries. All menu items are egg and peanut free. And here’s the kicker: every last one of the menu items at Amy’s Drive Thru will be available in regular, vegan, dairy-free, and yes, you guessed it, gluten-free. YESSSS!!!
All of Amy’s food will be made on-site and the food items will be competitively priced, with burgers costing $2.99, burritos $4.69 and salads $3.99. Customers will be able to buy an entire meal for under $9 and have it ready in 3-and-a-half minutes.
Andy and Rachel Berliner started Amy’s Kitchen in 1987 after developing a vegetarian frozen pot pie out of their kitchen. 27 years later, the company has grown at an average of 30% a year, evolving into one of the largest frozen food and canned soup companies in the U.S. and one notorious for its variety of gluten-free options.
“Customers have asked us to enter the restaurant business for about two decades now,” commented Andy Berliner on their new venture. “So about 4 years ago we decided to do more of a traditional drive-thru restaurant, but with organic, vegetarian, pesticide-free and GMO-free food.”
As consumer demand for local and organic food continues to skyrocket, the time has never been better for Amy’s. Studies show that the number of vegetarian dieters in America has doubled over the past 5 years, and more and more Americans are turning to a gluten-free diet to treat celiac, gluten sensitivity and other ailments. Other companies are working hard to remove genetically engineered and highly processed ingredients from their menus. “We haven’t changed. Organic, vegetarian and GMO-free is who we are,” says Berliner.
Amy’s drive-thru will also be unique in its infrastructure, as well. The restaurant tables are made from retired auto brake drums, and tableware will be made from materials collected on-site for recycling.
It doesn’t stop there! Amy’s will also do their part to take better care of our planet. In addition to vegetarian products requiring much less water for production which helps mitigate the damage of California’s drought, Amy’s plans to host a “living roof,” with drought-tolerant and native plants, which will reduce the building’s energy needs. The building will also have an on-site water tower that will collect rain to water the roof and send drain water into on-site swales.
If the pioneer branch in San Francisco is successful, Amy’s has every intention to expand. To say that we can’t wait is a massive understatement. Amy’s, please make this restaurant available for all of us! And for those of you living in the San Francisco area, check it out and report back!