Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

SEP 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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98 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • SEPTEMBER 2017 honeygrow Plant-Forward Fast-Casual Concept Creates a Buzz D espite the big buzz around plant-based diets and rising num- bers of consumers seeking meatless meals, compelling and convenient restaurants that put plants center stage are still few and far between in many markets. For Justin Rosenberg, that reality presented an opportunity. A newly converted proponent of a plant-based diet, the former real estate finance guy decided to scratch an entre- preneurial itch. He left the cubicle world behind, trained in a fine-dining kitchen and developed honeygrow, a next-gen fast-casual con- cept where organic salads, stir-fries, smoothies and a signature "honeybar" star in an environment that blends high-touch hospitality with high-tech advancements. The first honeygrow unit opened in the Center City neighborhood of Philadelphia in 2012. Since then, develop- ment has been aggressive thanks in large part to Miller Investment Management. The West Conshohocken, Pa.-based private equity firm has twice infused the budding chain with capital ($25 million in 2015 and $20 million in late 2016) to grow its footprint, refine its systems and develop proprietary technologies, in- cluding self-serve order-entry kiosks, a mobile ordering app, and virtual-reality crew train- ing tools. Today, honeygrow boasts 18 units. Many locations are in and around Philadelphia, but the company has also expanded to nearby mar- kets including Baltimore (two units), Washington, D.C. (one), Delaware (two), New Jersey (three), New honeygrow SNAPSHOT HQ: Philadelphia Concept: Healthful, plant- forward fast-casual stir-fries, salads, smoothies, honeybar Founded: 2012 No. of Units: 18 Ownership: Founder/CEO Justin Rosenberg, private investors Expansion Markets: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Northern Virginia/ Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago Franchising: No Services: Lunch, dinner, takeout Average Unit Size: 2,000 square feet Average Check: $13 Mission-Critical Equipment: Wok stoves, salad prep equip- ment, refrigerated tables, pasta cookers, order kiosks Customers can choose from signature stir-fries or customize their own, us- ing freshly made egg white or whole wheat noodles, rice noodles, brown rice or Boston lettuce cups as a base. Photo by Jason Varney 7 EMERGING CHAINS

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