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Former Burger King chef Kevin Hart is opening a vegan chain to transform the fast food industry

Comedian, actor and entrepreneur Kevin Hart is set to open vegan fast food chain Hart House in the Los Angeles area this summer. The new restaurant is a partnership between Hart, entrepreneur Andy Hooper and chef Michael Salem. The chef previously worked as Head of Culinary Innovation at Burger King and helped create the Impossible Whopper, a defining moment in the plant-based change now taking place in the fast food industry.

“I am happy to announce that I have collaborated with a team of partners and industry leaders to create a groundbreaking restaurant called Hart House,” Hart announced on Instagram. “This thing is going to be huge! We’re going to serve up delicious, long-lasting dishes that deliver incredible flavor in every bite. We will open our first locations in the Los Angeles area, but we will expand rapidly. »

The concept of Hart House first appeared in Hart several years ago at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. After two years of preparation, the team is ready to introduce the vegan fast food chain to the public, starting with several locations in the Los Angeles area.

The Hart House menu will feature American comfort food classics revisited with a plant-based twist, including burgers, chicken sandwiches, nuggets, fries and milkshakes (made with oat milk), all made without animal products. , without high fructose corn syrup or preservatives.

In addition to physical locations, Hart House will operate food trucks and provide catering services.

Hart House/Instagram

The future of fast food is plant-based

According to Hooper, the Hart House concept is based on the assumption that fast food is not only changing in the direction of the plants, but that this change is inevitable and necessary. As such, Hart House’s approach is that the food will be indulgent and familiar, but not marketed solely around plant-based legends.

“I think one of the big things when you’re looking at building the next generation of quick service restaurants is recognizing that it’s going to be forward-thinking,” Hooper said. Los Angeles Magazine. “This is where things happen, both out of taste preference, but also out of necessity.”

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Hart brought Salem personally on board calling him and presenting the concept. Given his area of ​​expertise with Burger King, Salem’s involvement gives Hart House even more potential to significantly shift the traditional fast-food model into the direction of plants. Salem helped put the Impossible Whopper on the menu in 2019 and since then Burger King has explored plant-based menu updates and initiatives globally. Not only does the fast food giant now offer plant-based options worldwide, but it also hosts meatless pop-ups. This month, Burger King opened two vegetarian outlets in Switzerland, bringing the total of such pop-ups to five after similar openings in London, Spain and Germany.

Salem was tasked with creating the Hart House menu, which he designed from the perspective of a meat eater looking for enjoyable options that are better for health, animals and the planet. “It’s one thing to hear someone’s idea and get excited about working with a celebrity. It’s another thing when you hear about someone’s idea and it really resonates with your life’s work and that’s what happened to me,” Salem said. Los Angeles Magazine. “I have seen too many animals die. I’ve been too guilty of the food I’ve served to the community, making people really unhealthy for a long time, and I just don’t think it’s necessary. I think it really is the future of fast food, which is why I took the gig. I just thought it was an amazing chance to really make a difference and leave a legacy to food service and an industry that has been so good to me.

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Kevin Hart supports Beyond Burgers

Hart’s venture into the vegan fast food industry comes as no surprise as he is an investor in the vegan brand Beyond Meat and has worked with it since 2019 on several campaigns to promote plant-based meat. This summer, Hart launched a campaign with the vegan brand during National Burger Month (May) in which he appeared alongside Will “Spank” Horton in a humorous change-themed ad – clothes and slogans through different eras to the consumption of meat from animal to vegetable origin.

“With Beyond Meat, I love that my family and I can enjoy all the foods we love, like garden-grilled burgers, but do it in a way that’s best for us without feeling like we’re sacrificing anything,” Hart said in a statement at the time. “As a longtime partner, I jumped at the chance to be part of this summer grilling campaign to inspire more people to try Beyond Meat.”

For the latest vegan news, read:

Burger King opens 2 meatless establishments in Switzerland
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