Besides getting out of a crowded market, Maier and Wallace want to meet the rising consumer demand for plant-based foods, and adhere to a company ethos of sustainability.
“Initially, my idea for Yeah Burger was sustainable food,” Maier said. “When I came up with the idea, sustainable meant grass-fed beef. But, the impetus was to launch an environmentally friendly restaurant. The biggest trend right now in food — from a consumer and investment standpoint — is plant-based. Plant-based food, from a production standpoint, is the healthiest for the planet and our customers.”
The move also keeps Yeah Burger, located at 1168 Howell Mill Road, aligned with sister restaurant Upbeet, which features organic bowls, as well as smoothies and superfood lattes. “The majority of our menu at Upbeet is plant-based,” Wallace said. “Just like we saw a need for Upbeet when we opened that, we see one for Yeah Burger.”
The majority of the 13 burgers on the menu will be double-stacks made with Beyond Beef patties. Also on offer will be a house-made patty made with organic walnut, mushrooms and beets, as well as an organic falafel patty.
Also on the menu will be plant-based hot dogs made from non-genetically modified ingredients, and Beyond Meat brats and Italian links. Alternative chicken choices will include a house-made golden fried chicken in various sandwiches, and Beyond Meat chicken tenders. Other sandwiches will showcase plant-based foods such as tempeh, mushrooms and avocado.
However, build-your-own burgers and sandwiches no longer will be available.
Despite the switch to plant-based food, the restaurant will keep the same menu categories it had before. Besides burgers and sandwiches, expect salads; fries and onion rings; sides; breakfast items all day; and a variety of beverages, including beer and wine.
Maier hopes that the new menu attracts not only diners who follow a plant-forward diet, but those who just want a delicious burger. “We think the ingredients and the menu will be very attractive to people who are primarily carnivores,” he said.
During the lengthy shutdown, Yeah Burger underwent an extensive renovation. “Having been in the space for 10 years, it was in need of a full renovation,” Maier said. “We renovated everything except the ceiling and floor.”
Although the restaurant has not announced its reopening date, the company is hiring for all positions.
The Howell Mill Road storefront is the last remaining Yeah Burger location. Its space at 1017 N. Highland Ave. changed hands last year, and now operates as a Farm Burger unit.
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