Australian burger chain Grill’d has announced it is making two of its restaurants completely meat-free. It comes as a growing number of Aussies swap out animal products in favor of vegan and vegetarian food.
Under the name Impossibly Grill’d, the eateries offer 23 “healthy, guilt-free” meatless options.
Ten burgers made with Impossible Meat are available, as well as several vegan burgers featuring toppings like Chick’n, mushroom patties, plant-based bacon, cheese, sour cream, salads, and sauces.
Loaded fries, soy chicken bites, and other sides are also on offer.
Some of the menu items contain dairy cheese or egg-based mayonnaise by default, but diners wishing to eat vegan can request dairy-free cheese and vegan sauce instead. Further, the sticky honey soy bites contain bee’s honey.
Grill’d said the concept is “truly a sight to behold.”
“The carrot’s outta the bag… we’re trading in our pastures for garden beds and turning two of our restaurants, in Collingwood, VIC, and Darlinghurst, NSW, totally vegetarian,” the company wrote online.
To celebrate the plant-positive campaign, Grill’d is also re-launching Meat-Free Mondays at all of its roughly 150 restaurants. The company first kicked off the initiative in 2019 to encourage Australians to ditch meat one day a week.
It followed years of experimentation from Grill’d; the chain debuted its first mushroom burger in 2014. From there, the company ramped up its vegan-friendly options, introducing its own plant-based meat patty made from pea protein.
Later, in 2019, the burger brand teamed up with Beyond Meat. Then last year, Grill’d became the first Australian restaurant chain to offer Impossible Meat patties.
The plant-based movement is “certainly not a fad,” Grill’d co-founder and managing director Simon Crowe said to The Sydney Morning Herald. “It’s a permanent trend.”
Speaking to the publication, Crowe revealed that plant-based burger sales had risen from five percent to more than 15 percent at Grill’d.
Indeed, Australian consumers appear to be leaning away from animal products more than ever. ABC News reports that domestic meat intake has tanked, reaching its lowest point since the mid-1990s. The outlet says this is due, in part, to shoppers’ growing attention to “ethically and environmentally conscious dietary habits.”
Sustainability concerns are a key reason for Grill’d’s shift away from meat. But Crowe maintains that he backs the taste of the company’s meat-free choices too.
“If I blindfolded you and gave you the [Impossible] burger, I bet $100 that you couldn’t tell the difference between this, and beef,” the co-founder said.
It may be why the chain is considering further expanding its new meat-free concept. On the Impossibly Grill’d website page, users can vote for which city they want to see the next meatless location established. It’s between Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, or the option to “convert every Grill’d restaurant!”