Stand-Up Burgers is a sister brand to the growing Veggie Grill chain, a Los Angeles-based concept that was one of the first to go national with a plant-based menu. Veggie Grill, however, has a broader menu, while Stand-Up Burgers is focused on indulgent burgers, shakes and fries (as well as chicken sandwiches, hot dogs and tots).
Stand-Up Burgers was launched during the pandemic, first in Berkeley, Calif. Now there are four — including the first in the home base of Los Angeles, which opened earlier this year. Two more are expected to open in the LA area in the near term, and a unit is under construction in New York City.
Jay Gentile, Veggie Grill Inc.’s CEO, said the company recently launched a franchising program, and the company also plans to expand its reach with ghost kitchens in markets where brand awareness has been established.
For the folks at Veggie Grill, this new brand was in part a real estate play, Gentile said. Stand-Up units are smaller than Veggie Grills. The burger concept is designed to fit into 1,500- to 2,200-square feet, but they can go as small as 1,300-square feet, he said. Though there is some dine-in seating, all food is packaged to-go. “It’s a true burger joint experience,” said Gentile.
The company also has the benefit of purchasing power, buying for both brands. Veggie Grill also has a vegan taco concept that has operated as a virtual brand out of the chain’s kitchens, further expanding the company’s portfolio.
The average check at Stand-Up Burgers is $21, which might include a $10.95 burger, $3.95 fries and a $4.95 shake, with generous portions.
While Veggie Grill’s burgers use Beyond Meat, the soy-free option, Stand-Up Burgers uses Impossible Foods products, which is considered the more indulgent plant-based protein.
Gentile described Veggie Grill as always being “very polite” in talking with consumers about their plant-based journey.
“But Stand-Up Burgers is about taking a stand, speaking to what you believe in, being forthright,” he said. “Stand-Up Burgers looks you in the eye and says, ‘Why aren’t you eating this way? It’s better for you. It’s better for the animals. It’s better for the environment.’”