Next Level Burger, the plant-based fast-food restaurant based in Bend, Ore., has completed a funding round worth $20 million, the chain announced on Tuesday.
“It means that our idea of reinventing the 21st-century burger joint into something that reflects the 21st isn't just something we thought made sense, but some smart money agrees it means that we are very fortunate that we are in a position to fuel our growth,” Next Level Burger CEO and co-founder Matthew de Gruyter told Nation’s Restaurant News. “But [we will] not be forced to compromise our value set in the process of growing. We retain the keys to the kingdom and control as much as any of us can control anything in this uncontrollable world.”
The funding will help the quick-service chain reach its goal of opening 1000 units.
“We're so very appreciative of the fact that we are not just in a position where it's a figurehead or a greenwashing sort of sentimental,” de Gruyter said. “We do sustainable but at the end of the day, we're here for the dollar bills. Dollar bills are important, but we're here to build a legacy.”
Investors include a strategic organic and natural foods partner, private high-net-worth, mission driven shareholders, and early-stage vegan investor power couple Alex Payne, formerly of Twitter and Simple Bank, and Nicole Brodeur as minority stakeholders.
Next Level Burger currently operates nine locations in Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado, Texas and New York.
If you want to hear more from de Gruyter, listen to this recent episode of Extra Serving. He will also be speaking at CREATE: The Future of Foodservice in Denver Sept. 19.