Restaurant Chains Slow Down Fast Food

O’Naturals, a chain of organic fast-food restaurants, is part of a growing effort to introduce delicious, healthier food alternatives into Americans’ busy lifestyles.
By Tina Deines
October/November 2005
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O’Naturals offers flatbread sandwiches such as this pesto chicken.
O’NATURALS
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Slowly, a new kind of fast-food restaurant business is gaining popularity in the United States. In April, a small chain in the Northeast called O’Naturals opened its fourth store — in Somerville, Mass., a Boston suburb.

The franchise, which opened its first restaurant in 2001, is the brainchild of Gary Hirschberg, the president and CEO of Stonyfield Farm organic yogurt company. Naturally, granola and yogurt is a staple of the restaurant’s menu. O’Naturals also offers free-range chicken flatbread sandwiches, bison meatloaf, organic smoked tofu, all-natural chicken nuggets and organic cheesecakes.

“Simultaneously people are living these crazy lifestyles and looking for alternatives,” O’Naturals president Mac McCabe says. “O’Naturals is a marriage between the search for something organic with the lifestyle people lead.”

The restaurant, McCabe says, is marketed toward families who are already paying a premium for better quality food. The price range of the restaurant reflects that — most items cost between $4.75 and $7.

But the key to making O’Naturals competitive with other fast-food franchises, McCabe says, is having a delicious product.

“Whether it’s natural or organic — it doesn’t matter, as long as it tastes good,” he says. “So we’re giving great food, and by the way, you get this bonus that there’s no garbage in it.”

O’Naturals is not alone in the effort to “slow down” the U.S. fast-food industry. In Colorado, Good Times burger chain offers all-natural beef; Florida’s EVOS chain offers tacos with free-range and hormone-free meats. Chipotle — a subsidiary of McDonald’s — serves meals with local ingredients and natural pork products.

Visit the O’Naturals Web site for a list of the restaurant’s locations.








Post a comment below.

 

Whitecastle
7/1/2009 1:15:19 AM
Fast foods are easily obtained and plentiful, and usually inexpensive with 99-cent meals being widely available. Nutrition information is available thus informing us what are intake is. The more food for less money phrase help the people below poverty line to survive so i think chain restaurants can never slow down fast food joints. So i think fast food joints like http://www.whitecastle.com can never slow down.

Whitecastle
7/1/2009 1:12:19 AM
Fast foods are easily obtained and plentiful, and usually inexpensive with 99-cent meals being widely available. Nutrition information is available thus informing us what are intake is. The more food for less money phrase help the people below poverty line to survive so i think chain restaurants can never slow down fast food joints. fast food joints like http://www.whitecastle.com will never slow down.

James Cruz
6/22/2009 5:15:26 AM
Yeah its obvious as people are becoming aware of disastrous effects of Junk food they are shifting from Junk to more natural food. As a result fastfood chains are bound to change their menus.

P L
4/10/2009 12:40:34 AM
Well, again, that's great for the rich folks. What about the poor folks that are still eating off the McDonald's dollar menu, or having lots of pasta and potatoes and box food from the foodbank? I am waiting for a change in this country where it is cheaper to eat local, good, fresh food than it is to eat manufactured stuff full of junk.








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