For many, McDonald’s fast-food restaurants are synonymous with unhealthy food and oversized portions. If you assume that selling healthy food would be far from the mind of anyone in McDonald’s corporate operations, a recent move might seem particularly surprising.
Two former McDonald’s executives recently announced plans to open a healthy restaurant chain concept called LYFE (Love Your Food Everyday) Kitchen, which will feature vegan, vegetarian, and healthy options in a quick-serve atmosphere.
The first LYFE store will open in Palo Alto, California at the end of this summer. The chain has plans to expand to 250 restaurants throughout the United States, including locations in Chicago, according to the LA Times.
At LYFE’s helm will be former McDonald’s president and chief operating officer Mike Roberts and former communications boss Mike Donahue. Both will be taking cues from their former employer when it comes to smart real estate decisions and carefully constructed marketing campaigns–but that’s where the similarities end.
LA Times reports:
“In the Lyfe kitchen, butter, cream and high-fructose corn syrup are banned, and none of the food is fried. All of Lyfe’s menu items contain fewer than 600 calories, including signature dishes [like] a Niman ranch beef burger with agave ketchup and pickles. The desserts are expected to be dairy-free.”
Because healthy cooking for the masses is a tall order, Roberts and Donahue recruited Oprah Winfrey’s former chef Art Smith and vegan chef Tal Ronnen (who authored Oprah’s 21-day vegan cleanse) to help design the menu and ensure quality ingredients.
“With two celebrated, taste-making chefs and a talented team of leaders and advisers, we believe LYFE Kitchen is a response to one of America’s most significant unmet needs: the consumer’s demand for delicious, affordable food that is good for you,” states Roberts.
Image Credit: LYFE Kitchen logo (PRNewsFoto/LYFE Kitchen)