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Sweetgreen's new line of Plates

Sweetgreen launches ‘Plates’ for dinner at restaurants in response to coronavirus

Chain accelerates rollout to appeal to customers eating at home

Sweetgreen, a fast-casual restaurant best known for its salads, is making a play for the dinner daypart with a new line of “Plates.” It’s the Los Angeles-based chain’s first new menu category since it introduced warm grain bowls in 2016.

Priced at around $14, the Plates feature flavored proteins with vegetables, whole grains and beans.

In a press release, the chain of 105 locations said it had originally planned to introduce the line next year, but it sped up plans “to cater to requests for warm satisfying options as families are spending more time around the dinner table.”

Nicolas Jammet, the chain’s co-founder and chief concept officer, said he hoped the new items would appeal to guests during these difficult times.

“We’re continuing to look for ways to evolve our offerings as the needs of our guests change due to the impact of COVID-19,” he said. “With Plates, our goal is to​ help create meaningful connections and good-for-you dining experiences during times where it may seem hard to do so. We hope these new items invoke the warm, comforting feeling of home cooked food, paired with quality ingredients and rich flavors that are unique to Sweetgreen.”

The Plates are available in packaging free of PFAS with square plates. Unlike Sweetgreen’s other menu items, these items are plated like a traditional meal, with the entrée and sides placed next to each other rather than jumbled together in a bowl.

The chain is donating one Plate to healthcare workers for each Plate purchase.

Sweetgreen has used its Outpost operations — a sort of pop-up kiosk traditionally set up in office buildings and other high-density areas for people to pick up their orders — to feed healthcare workers. It has donated more than 100,000 meals to more than 130 hospitals in partnership with José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen.

The new Plates are:

Chicken Chimichurri: Chicken thigh, hot roasted sweet potatoes, seasoned black beans, pickled carrots & celery, baby spinach, cilantro, feta cheese, riced cauliflower and chimichurri sauce

Hot Honey Chicken: Chicken thigh, hot roasted sweet potatoes, kale-cabbage slaw, roasted almonds, warm quinoa, baby spinach and hot honey mustard sauce

Miso Chicken: Chicken thigh, kale-cabbage slaw, basil, cilantro, wild rice, riced cauliflower, baby spinach and miso sesame ginger dressing

Cashew Sweet Potato: Roasted tofu “steaks,” hot roasted sweet potato, basil, tomatoes, lentils, raw carrots, spicy sunflower seeds, riced cauliflower, baby spinach, lemon squeeze and spicy cashew dressing

Green Goddess Steelhead: Roasted steelhead trout (shrimp in Texas), pickled carrots & celery, basil, cilantro, tomatoes, roasted almonds, riced cauliflower, warm wild rice, baby spinach and green goddess ranch dressing

Mushroom Burrito: Warm portobello mushroom mix, avocado, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, red onions, warm wild rice, riced cauliflower, baby spinach and lime cilantro jalapeno vinaigrette

Sweetgreen also has introduced two new sides for around $4, depending on location:

Spicy Pesto Sweet Potatoes: Hot roasted sweet potatoes, spicy cashew dressing and pesto vinaigrette

Cauli Rice & Beans: Riced cauliflower, black beans, feta cheese and lime cilantro vinaigrette

For our most up-to-date coverage, visit the coronavirus homepage.

Learn lessons in leadership during a crisis from our panel of experts on Friday, May 1.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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