Innovation That Matters

Fast food chain goes local

Food & Drink

Fast food restaurants have long been domains of guilty indulgence, something that Burgerville is set to change. Although it’s been around in the Pacific Northwest since the 1960s, Burgerville is committed to supplying its patrons with local, seasonal and organic food options. Beef and cheese are purchased from hormone-free farms in Oregon, and all of Burgerville’s produce is locally sourced—meaning customers won’t find a strawberry shake in December. They will, however, find sweet potato fries and pumpkin shakes in autumn and Walla Walla onion rings in the summer. In addition to its focus on sustainable ingredients, Burgerville runs its 39 restaurants as greenly as possible. Its canola oil is recycled into biodiesel fuel after its cooking life has ended, it has a wind-generated electricity investment programme, and there is a staff-initiated composting and recycling scheme. Food is priced marginally above other chains (for instance, a Yukon & White Bean Burger costs USD 5.29 and rosemary shoestring potatoes USD 2.99), but can be justified by the extra effort involved. Although Burgerville certainly isn’t the only fast food joint to source locally and act sustainably, it’s one of the biggest chains that have gone that direction. If fast food chains, so recently the antithesis of all that’s eco-friendly, healthy and democratic, can do a 180 with their business—can’t anyone? (Related: Meatless fastfood chains.) Spotted by:



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