A restaurant chain originally designed for bodybuilders is now one of the hottest concepts in New York City
Its menu features healthy and protein-rich food items such as brussel sprouts, kale, butternut squash, beets, steak, and salmon. The menu choices are dictated by seasonal availability.
Founder Adam Eskin began Dig Inn after investing in a group of five restaurants called Pump Energy Food, which catered to bodybuilders. The restaurant group wasn't doing well, so in 2011 Eskin repositioned the brand and renamed it Dig Inn.
"We wanted to come up with a model in which we could source our food responsibly, cook everything from scratch and still serve it at an affordable price in an accessible setting," Eskin told Business Insider.
Dig Inn's business model serves as an educational kitchen.
The meals are made from scratch each day so a well-developed and trained staff is necessary for the success of the restaurants.
"Part of our goal is to work with chefs and teach them skills beyond culinary - such as leadership, management, and paying vendors on time - in order to become well-rounded chefs," said Eskin.
In addition to educating his chefs, Eskin's relationship with farmers also allows his restaurant chain to thrive. He makes sure small farmers are getting their chance at being able to supply produce.
With 85% of Dig Inn's menu coming from produce, the relationship is mutually beneficial.
The menu is divided into three sections: marketplate, salads, and sandwiches. At around $10 for a marketplate, customers can get a protein such as chicken, salmon, steak or tofu on a bed of rice with two sides.
By selling affordable high-end food, Eskin's business model is seeing growth. Dig Inn is projecting year-end revenue of $35 million for 2015.
There are 11 locations in Manhattan, and the chain will be moving to outside of New York to Boston in 2016. While the number of Dig Inn locations will be expanding, Eskin says he has no plans to franchise.
Take a look at some of the menu items that have been featured at this farm-to-counter chain.
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