Beefy burger boys McDonald’s, Burger King, and Shake Shack have all bigged up their vegan offerings this week, following a general trend towards fast food companies basing more things on plants but diverging quite significantly in their strategies.
The clown is taking its McPlant burger — which doesn’t really emulate any of its most famous patties — nationwide. McDonald’s was one mayonnaise replacement away from a decent vegan burger, but it decided to engineer a whole new patty in partnership with a tech meat company (Beyond Meat) instead. Still, it’s not sticking it on a grill covered in beefy oozings like Burger King, who has decided this week to go all in not on a vegan burger, but some faux-chicken nuggets, which means it has somehow beaten the Colonel to the punch.
Shake Shack, meanwhile, is making its tie-up with former Smokehouse and Temper chef Neil Rankin a permanent fixture. Rankin’s Symplicity burger — which had a brief London restaurant as Simplicity Burger and was actually good — comes adorned with crispy shallots, vegan cheese, and vegan mustard mayonnaise. So that’s three big moves in the world of vegan fast food, and at least one is actually worth a look.
Smile, you’re having pizza
Happy Face, which has done good business out of decent pizza in King’s Cross, has expanded to Victoria and will soon open a third restaurant in Brent Cross.
A new year means new Brexit bureaucracy
Speciality importers and exporters of European foods like cheese, charcuterie, and even fruit and vegetables are facing even more burdensome Brexit customs checks from 1 January, and as in 2021, the amount of paperwork required is leaving small businesses with a tough choice between higher administrative costs and trimming their selections.