Monty’s Good Burger advocates for expansion of plant-based burgers in California

When Monty’s Good Burger, which specializes in plant-based burgers, opened in Los Angeles in 2018, by a group of friends involved in the music industry, they assumed it would. But the time had come for plant-based burgers, and Monty’s Good Burger has expanded to five locations around Los Angeles.

It now has stores in West Hollywood, Echo Park, Riverside, Koreatown, and Culver City. But can Monty’s break the Los Angeles barrier and expand beyond?

He prides himself on selling a 100% plant-based menu and having sold two million burgers, fries and shakes. He specializes in selling Impossible burgers.

A plant-based burger chain, Monty’s Good Burger, has drawn a crowd, is showing signs of growth, and could potentially expand outside of California.

The partners started with the idea of ​​opening a plant-based burger stand in a food court in Riverside, California. It was delayed and the Koreatown store opened in August 2018, a month before the food court, says Bill Fold, one of five associates, who has been involved in managing the music.

Each partner put in $ 100,000, but it was a pretty impromptu affair. “We didn’t have a business plan and it wasn’t about making money,” Fold says.

It also wanted to be respectful of the environment. “Everything we do is compostable; we don’t use plastic.

Partners Fold and Nic Adler, who now also runs “Nic’s on Beverly,” another LA plant-based restaurant, were also new to the restaurant business. “We learned together. We continue to learn and develop as we grow older, ”notes Fold.

When every Monty’s Good Burger debuted, it depended on Instagram to get the word out. “We started posting some cool, funny pictures and it attracted a certain group of people who wanted to try the line,” Fold says.

Its target audience is “people who want to eat less meat, enjoy a good burger and have a fun experience with their guests,” Fold says.

Each new store was financed by the profits of the existing points of sale. It has not accepted any external funding from banks, private equity or venture capital firms.

Fold thinks the concept works mostly in cities and wouldn’t thrive in “some townships in Arkansas.” Our burgers sell for $ 11, not $ 8 for the In-N-Out Burger or $ 5 for McDonalds. At Monty’s, a burger, croquettes, and a drink cost around $ 17.

Its menu is uncluttered. Along with the signature Impossible Burger, it offers shakes, tots, chicken sandwiches, and a kale salad.

But partner Adler makes no claims to being a totally healthy dining option. “We sell burgers, tots and shakes. There is nothing healthy about what we do. It just doesn’t hurt the animals, ”he explains.

When deciding on his menu, the partners tasted the Impossible burger and were won over. “We chose Impossible for the taste, look and feel of their product,” said Adler.

Its menu is intentionally streamlined. “Simplicity seems to work,” Fold notes. “We’d rather do a few good things than a lot of bad things. We want to provide fresh food, not burritos and tacos for breakfast. “

The pandemic put a damper on Monty’s operations in the spring of 2020. He had to shut down all of his outlets for three months and when it reopened, it switched to a take-out-only model with an app that offered 100 pickup. % hands free.

After reopening, it follows strict CDC guidelines and local guidelines, including employees always wearing masks and getting tested frequently. Of its 150 employees, almost everyone is vaccinated except six employees who have been granted religious exemptions.

On Yelp, a customer liked the taste of the Monty’s burger, but not the price. One said that the “double cheeseburger was fantastic; I couldn’t taste the difference between this and a regular animal meat burger. But he backed down from the $ 11 single pancake price and the $ 14 double price, although he acknowledged that “Impossible pancake is expensive.”

Another customer had heard that Monty’s was California cult favorite In-N-Out vegan burger and liked the taste, but waited in line too long. He felt the staff were focused on fulfilling orders online, not in person.

It also does not offer third-party delivery services. “We don’t use them for various reasons. When you do, you have no control over what food is delivered hot and fresh. And there’s no way to be profitable, ”Fold says.

Next year he plans to open two to three stores in Southern California, possibly San Diego and the Valley, and could look to northern California. Then they would consider neighboring states such as Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington.

“We’re hoping to build this up to 20-25 locations, show a real business model, and have someone come in with real money to help us out of 100 locations,” Fold says. It could involve venture capital or private equity funding or someone wealthy independent who likes the concept.

Fold describes the three keys to his future success as: 1) brand consistency so the customer knows exactly what to expect, 2) the well-being of his staff, 3) maintaining a superior customer experience .

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