A chain that wants to be the McDonald's of vegan fast food is preparing for a $13 million international takeover
By Chloe is planning to open its first location outside of the US in London this fall, Bloomberg reported. Up to $13 million has reportedly been invested in the chain's expansion, with plans to open more locations in London, as well as elsewhere in Europe and the Middle East.
In just two years, By Chloe has gone from a single New York City vegan cafe to a mini-chain with seven locations in New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles. The chain plans to open four more locations in the US by the end of 2017.
The restaurants raked in $10 million in sales in 2016, the company told Business Insider. Next year, By Chloe hopes to triple that figure, predicting $30 million in sales.
That's significant for a chain that maintains a 100% vegan menu. That means no meat, milk, eggs, cheese - many of the things that give restaurants, especially fast-food chains, some of their biggest hits.
Despite the meat-free approach, the appeal of By Chloe is that menu items are intended to appeal to vegans and meat-eaters alike, with veggie burgers, french fries, and pasta.
All menu items are under $12, making it an inexpensive and relatively speedy options for people seeking meat-free options.
A black bean-quinoa-sweet potato burger, topped with guacamole, takes the place of the Big Mac. Instead of Heinz 57, you can dip fries in beet ketchup and chipotle mayo.
"BBQ" is made with portobello mushrooms, and mac n' cheese uses sweet potato-cha shew cheese sauce and shiitake "bacon."
By Chloe doesn't merely stick with imitating fast-food classics. Some of the best items on the menu are the salads, such as quinoa taco and spicy Thai, which are piled high and incredibly filling.
Then, there's the sweets. In September 2016, By Chloe opened its first sweet shop in New York City, selling vegan cakes, pies, and cookies.
It's all incredibly Instagrammable.
By Chloe's rise has not been without its controversies.
In March, cofounders Chloe Coscarelli and Samantha Wasser split, with Coscarelli ousted for "gross negligence." Coscarelli - who once claimed that Wasser and ESquared Hospitality tried to force her to add meat to the menu - brought a certain degree of celebrity to the project, having won Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" at age 22, becoming the first contestant to win with vegan culinary creations.
"It has been very exciting to be able to focus on the uncompromised growth and expansion of the By Chloe brand," Wasser told Business Insider on the company's growth post-lawsuit.
According to Wasser, the company is now looking forward.
By Chloe partnered with Whole Foods to open a location inside a 365 store in Los Angeles, providing a different avenue of growth for the chain as it expands. And, this fall, new locations are opening in New York City and Providence, Rhode Island.
"Seeing the brand grow and knowing the momentum has only gotten stronger is something I feel very proud to be a part of," Wasser said. "We could not have grown the brand By Chloe, which is now coast to coast, without the people that work with us daily, and guests that come back to see us again and again."
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