Amy’s Drive Thru in Rohnert Park, California, is serving up vegetarian fare prepared fresh on the premises, using locally grown vegetables, beans and grains.
The drive-through is the brainchild of Rachel and Andy Berliner, founders of Amy’s Kitchen, the vegetarian food brand.
Meat free diners looking for a speedy meal can tuck into such healthful delicacies as organic veggie burgers, mac ‘n’ cheese, chilli cheese fries, pizzas, burritos and a selection of super-food salads, with vegan and gluten-free options available for every item on the menu.
The Berliners initially experienced some scepticism about the concept but, after two years perfecting their recipes, believe they have hit upon the future of food to go.
Andy Berliner feels that a tipping point has been reached and that people are increasingly choosing to eat with their health and the environment in mind.
“Consumers of all ages, but particularly millennials, are aware that what they eat affects their health, their wellbeing and how they feel,” he said. “We’ve just reached … a whole new level of interest in eating better.”
The couple set up a kitchen in their Amy’s Kitchen warehouse in order to test-drive their recipes, and discovered quickly that it was possible to rustle up nutritious meat free grub at short order.
Staying true to their company’s green credentials, the Berliners insist that any vegetables grown for Amy’s Drive Thru that aren’t used be rerouted into their frozen products. And their attention to ‘green’ doesn’t stop with the food – the building features a living roof and an array of over 50 solar panels to offset the drive-through’s energy needs.
The world’s fast-food giants are already catching on to advantages of catering for customers’ growing appetite for healthy food (particularly in terms of their bottom lines) with many chains already offering far more meat free options.
McDonald’s menus are 50 per cent meat-free in India, and the company opened its first vegetarian restaurant there in 2012, though that laudable move has yet to be replicated elsewhere in the world.
Andy says of the move towards healthier food on the hoof: “I think people really do want to eat this way. You feel good after, not like a fast-food coma.”