This entrepreneur wants to put Chick-fil-A out of business by opening 100 vegan fried chicken stores by 2024
Kansas-born vegan entrepreneur Lucas Bradbury has a mission to replace traditional chicken chains with Pollo project, a fast growing, mission-driven vegan chicken chain. Bradbury started Project Pollo in Texas to challenge the traditional idea of chicken with vegan versions of classics like sandwiches, strips, and wraps, plus side dishes like mac and cheese and laden papas. Project Pollo’s mission is also to challenge norms in other ways, e.g. B. by his employees being paid significantly higher than the minimum wage and the menu items are used to support community organizations. One such initiative is to put “project” items on the menu, such as the Original Project (a chicken sandwich with homemade aioli and dill pickles) that donates $ 1 from sales to charities.
Build a vegan chicken empire
Bradbury opened Project Pollo’s first location in September 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and gave away 1,600 vegan chicken sandwiches to keen Texans on World Vegan Day last November. While many small businesses have sadly been forced to close shutters, Bradbury saw the closure of large chain fast food locations as an opportunity to start a modern chicken empire that didn’t rely on farm animals or underpaid workers for profit. “We’ve seen a lot of of companies around us that have lost everything and it hurts, ”Bradbury told VegNews. “But we’ve also been lucky enough to see some national chain stores that give us the opportunity to try the alternative and save thousands of chicken lives every day.”
Bradbury currently operates five Project Pollo locations in Texas (San Antonio and Austin), including its newest location, which opened earlier this month as part of a closed jack-in-the-box location. In fact, each location in the Pollo project replaced a former fast food restaurant. The next two locations should take over a subway and Church’s Chicken in April and May respectively. This spring, Project Pollo will also replace a former Carl’s Jr. Overall, Bradbury is well on the way to opening a total of 12 locations within 12 months. Rapid expansion plans for the Dallas and Houston areas are planned for 2022.
Challenging traditional chicken
According to Bradbury, vegan food can be just as delicious and affordable, safer, more sustainable and with a lower carbon footprint. These factors, combined with the growing demand for vegan alternatives, mean that older fast food models will have to shift in a plant-based direction to survive. “The future of consumption undoubtedly lies in plant foods. Modern consumption favors these, ”said Bradbury. “[Fast-food] Concepts are all at a crucial point and must either adapt to the market or step aside and let Project Pollo take over. ”
Ultimately, Bradbury plans to open up to 100 Project Pollo locations by 2024 and is determined to get Chick-fil-A out of business by 2030. “We are currently well on our way to saving more than a million chickens from slaughter this year. If we do this on a large scale, we can really challenge the system,” said Bradbury, adding that he “makes it a priority to start shutting down Chick-Fil-A’s as there is an alternative and you don’t have to compromise on quality – we call it ‘challenging chicken’. “