An emerging restaurant chain that aims to turn fast food on its head has selected Dallas as one of its first expansion markets. LYFE Kitchen (short for Love Your Food Every day) aims to spark a “food revolution” by offering healthy, locally-sourced, organic fare.
What makes this chain different is that it’s led by Mike Roberts, former global president and chief operating officer of McDonald’s Corp., where he worked for nearly 30 years. Celebrity chefs Art Smith (former personal chef of Oprah Winfrey) and vegan Tal Ronnen helped develop LYFE Kitchen’s menus.
The company has already locked down three area sites—on the southeast corner of Preston and Park in Plano and in Preston Center and West Village in Dallas. Bryson Battle in the Dallas office of Colliers International is representing LYFE Kitchen in its search. The rookie broker also has been helping LYFE identify local food, coffee, and beer sources.
The restaurant uses no creams, butters, white flour, or processed sugars in its dishes. Menu items have fewer than 600 calories. But it caters to all types of eaters, Battle said, with “I Eat Everything,” vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free menus: “It’s good food that is also good for you.” The company’s restaurants are LEED-certified and include vertical gardens.
LYFE Kitchen made its debut in California in 2011. Along with Dallas, the company is expanding in Chicago and Denver. Battle said LYFE Kitchen liked North Texas because it’s a restaurant hotbed and the demographics, in terms of age and education level of residents, made sense. “They also liked that a lot of people are moving here from L.A.,” Battle said. “And the booming economy in Texas was a definite plus.”
The three new local venues are are slated to open this summer, with three additional DFW locations in the planning stages. Houston and Austin are targeted for future expansion, beginning in 2015.