The Little Beet is making a big impression in the burgeoning segment of better-for-you, fast-casual dining.
The six-unit chain markets itself as “100% Percent Guiltin’ Free.” It’s also largely gluten free, but it doesn’t conform to a specific diet.
The Little Beet serves a varied and customizable menu of lean meats and fish raised without antibiotics, and GMO-free vegetarian dishes. There is a wide selection of seasonal, plant-based side dishes. Heartier fare includes grain bowls and brown rice “rolls,” which are similar to sushi rolls, but weigh in at the size of small burritos.
“I think people want to eat well in the sense of they want to eat simple ingredients without a lot of fillings,” The Little Beet co-founder and managing partner Andy Duddleston said.
“After I eat our sautéed kale and our broccoli, just that and no protein, I feel good, like I did my body a solid. It tasted good and I feel great, so that’s why I think it resonates with people.”
The average per person check is around $12. The company would not disclose sales figures for The Little Beet.
The New York City-based chain is owned by Aurify Brands LLC, which is also the franchisee for Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Manhattan and Brooklyn, N.Y., giving The Little Beet the financial clout to expand.
The man behind The Little Beet’s food is chef Franklin Becker, who combines his fine-dining background with a health focus that he developed after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at the age of 27.
There are currently four Manhattan locations of The Little Beet, plus a restaurant in Garden City, N.Y., and a location in Washington, D.C.
Additionally, the company operates the full-service Little Beet Table restaurant in Manhattan, with an average per-person check of $54 at dinner and $30 at lunch. Last year, Becker told Nation’s Restaurant News that he expected the restaurant to do $3.5 million in sales.