What do you get for takeout when you are on the run and want something healthy? Tougher question than it might first appear. Burrito? Maybe. They tend to be huge, have lots of calories, and plenty of ingredients you might not use in meals you prepare for yourself. Burger? Riiiiight…..
You may not think of a salad as “quick” or portable, but a growing number of eco-friendly eating establishments are cashing in on the trend of providing healthier fast food that is unprocessed, light, low-carbon (and low carb, for those few people still clinging onto that silly fad), can usually be sourced locally, and provides a fairly good margin for entrepreneurs, as well. Pluto’s (pictured at left), a San Francisco based chain that serves large salads, much of it organic, has expanded solidly throughout the Bay Area in recent years.
It’s a pseudo deli style restaurant serving big, delicious salads as a main dish. Customers choose the ingredients they want in their salads, and employees mix the pre-prepared ingredients (organic chopped veggies, dressing, nuts, seeds, diced and grilled tofu or free range chicken, etc.) in a large mixing bowl before serving it on a plate or in an eco-friendly take-out container. These types of meals are healthy and tend to have lower carbon footprints, since they are mostly veggies and have small or no meat portions. An alternative business model would be to allow customers to create their own salads from your prepared ingredients and pay by weight or by the size of plate.
So if you enjoy serving people, have a passion for healthy, sustainably sourced food, and know that there are a lot of health-conscious consumers in your area, what are you waiting for?
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Photo courtesy of frankfarm on Flickr Creative Commons