One of the first plant-based fast-food contenders, Plant Power was founded in 2016 by Jeffrey Harris, Mitch Wallis and Zach Vouga. The concept first launched in San Diego, where Wallis had established another vegan brand with a drive-thru called Evolution.
“We had the same dream of veganizing, or plant-based-izing fast food,” said Harris. “We’ve always felt what the giants have done, we can do, but with a plant-based version.”
Plant Power Restaurant Group LLC now owns or franchises 11 restaurants and a food truck operating throughout California and Las Vegas, including five locations with a drive-thru. Another four units are expected to open by early 2023, Harris said.
In addition to a line of double-patty specialty burgers, like the “Big Zach,” Plant Power offers more classic single-patty plant-based burgers and cheeseburgers that are priced more in line with meat-serving competitors at $4.95/$5.95.
In general, vegan ingredients tend to be more expensive, though that gap is narrowing. Harris said his goal is to remove the cost barrier that might prevent some from trying plant-based food.
Unlike most of the contenders in this niche, Plant Power uses a proprietary burger patty created in partnership with Alpha Foods. The brand also offers a breakfast menu with various vegan croissant sandwiches, and desserts like cheesecake, (oat-based) soft-serve and brownies.
In 2018, the partners opened a centralized food production facility to produce the house-made sauces and other ingredients, creating efficiencies and saving on labor costs. In 2020, a distribution agreement was signed with US Foods. In 2021, the company completed a $7.5 million Series A capital raise to support expansion.
Sales have grown from $1.1 million in 2019 to $17.1 million at the close of 2021. The company is projecting sales of $20 million for 2022.