Los Angeles-based burger franchise Fatburger has a lot happening for it this week. Not only is it in the process of going public, but its also adding the increasingly popular Impossible Burger, a plant-based patty that bleeds and tastes just like the real thing, to its menu.
Photo courtesy of Fatburger
Starting today, five Los Angeles locations will begin serving up Impossible Foods' signature patty. Made with heme, a protein sourced from plants that gives the burger its juiciness and flavor, the Impossible patty is a flavorsome and comparable vegan counterpart to regular burger patties. Those who order the patty at Fatburger locations will get the option to fully customize with the chain's regular arsenal of toppings.
This news follows up the announcement that the L.A.-based chain is going public. An initial public offering of $24 million has begun, as the parent corporate branch of the burger business, FAT Brands Inc., is selling 2 million shares at $12 apiece until October 13th. FAT Brands has applied to list in the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker FAT, where it will officially list beginning October 23rd. Fatburger aims to build another 300 locations after the IPO closes on October 20th.
Photo courtesy of Fatburger.
Currently, no publicly traded restaurant or food chain sells or offers the Impossible Burger, making Fatburger the first public chain to sell the juicy vegan patty. CEO Andy Wiederhorn told Foodbeast that with the "growing demand for plant-based options" out there, incorporating the Impossible Burger seemed like a great fit, "especially because it cooks, looks, and tastes very similar to" a burger. Wiederhorn himself "honestly couldn't believe it wasn't beef" when he first tried the burger.
At this point, however, it's going to be difficult for Fatburger to expand further with its Impossible Burger sales. Wiederhorn cited the economic cost of the vegan patty as one factor. "Ground beef costs around $3-$4 per lb; the Impossible Burger costs much more than that, which means it has to have a much higher price point than traditional burgers and isn’t affordable to all consumers yet," he told Foodbeast. Additionally, Impossible Foods itself is still in progress of expanding its production capability, having just opened its first large-scale factory a few months ago.
As Fatburger and Impossible Foods both continue to expand, though, the burger could expand to more locations. Fatburger will discuss putting the Impossible Burger in more locations if the initial Los Angeles offering proves to be a success.