An Open Letter to BurgerFi From a Vegan

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As a nonmilitant vegan, I frequently find myself eating out with omnivores. Their meat consumption doesn't irk me, but the lack of options at eateries often does. Because seriously -- how hard it is to throw together one vegan entrée?

On that note, I was recently bummed to discover that BurgerFi, the environmentally sustainable burger chain that everyone's obsessed with, has nothing to offer vegans. Even its quinoa vegetarian burger has animal products in it. FAIL. So in response, here's my open letter to the leaders of the "better burger movement."

See also: BurgerFi Opens Newest Location at CityPlace

Dear BurgerFi,

I dig your style. You've got the whole forward-thinking, pop-culture-savvy, responsible-corporation deal down. You're hip, fun, and that mod green theme you've got going is aesthetically awesome. And food with no chemicals, no additives, and made via an Earth-friendly ethos? I'm all about it.

You tout your environmentally sustainable décor, from recycled Coke-bottle chairs to low-electricity ceiling fans; your lack of chemicals and additives; your Earth-friendly ethos and high standard of meat production. And kudos to all of that -- 'cuz Mama Earth needs our loving care.

But -- and it's a big but -- there's no getting around the fact that meat production is the most environmentally unfriendly thing out there other than, say, dumping toxic sludge into the Everglades.

No one is suggesting you stop serving meat -- not even me. What I AM suggesting is that you make one more move toward environmental responsibility (and consumer outreach). Conjure up one measly little vegan option -- one entirely animal-product-free item to offer your herbivorous visitors.

You have a vegetarian burger. Why did you stop there and exclude vegans altogether? That hurts. I realize we're not your target demographic. Clearly. However, by not offering anything that can be customized to our eating needs, you've made it so we can't patronize your locations even if we wanted to.

Like me, lots of plant-based eaters dine with carnivorous friends. And if the token vegan is SOL, well, it's likely the group will Yelp their way to another option. Hence why I'm writing this letter. The other day, my mom and I embarked on a mission to BurgerFi -- she loves your meaty treats. But after I was summarily rejected by your menu board, we had to go elsewhere. You lost business, and for what?

FYI: Lots of other burger chains offer a vegan option (or an option that can be made vegan) -- Shula Burger, Charm City Burgers, and Rok:Brgr, to name a few. All you've got for me is French fries -- and that's not much of a meal.

So do yourself a favor. Be inclusionary instead of exclusionary. Open your arms to the meatless eaters of the world. Tiny little effort on your part = big karmic reward.

Yours truly,
A hungry vegan looking for a little love




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34 comments
ralphpetrucci
ralphpetrucci

The delicious VegiFi burger "hold the cheese" is vegan. Now shut up. If you are too lazy to say "hold the cheese" someone raised you wrong.

seektherapy
seektherapy

Having stupid internet debates that go nowhere is not the answer. Corporate BurgerFi cares about ALL their customers, including vegans. That what makes BurgerFi different from competitors, their corporate team actually listens to customers and their positional customers. This might be the perfect opportunity for the vegan’s to submit recipes and suggestions. 

Amanda Mourant
Amanda Mourant

i love this! thank you for writing this important letter. i love their french fries and would love a vegan option there!!!! it's great food to grab and picnic with on delray beach.

Trish McAninley
Trish McAninley

What's with the stupid comments a vegan should be able to go out to dinner with her friends... So what's wrong with having a vegan burger at a burger joint

donohue76
donohue76

What's next, an open letter to Versace about not offering discount priced options to the income challenged? Or to the Aston Martin dealership for not selling American made cars? Perhaps a letter to the Jewish Synagogue for not dedicating just one measly hour on Sunday for a Catholic mass? Or how about a letter to Scarlett's on why with all the female dancers, they can't have just one male dancer for the gay guys that go from time to time? And while you're at it, next time you want to introduce facts to support your argument, make sure they support your argument. You claim "meat production is the most environmentally unfriendly thing out there" but sadly the article you attached does not support your claim in the way you want it to. The article itself doesn't even claim that, it says, "there may be no other single human activity that has a bigger impact on the planet than the raising of livestock." It also goes on to say that factory farming in the US is remarkably efficient and that the highest amount (75% from cattle and 56% from pigs/chickens) of livestock related greenhouse gas emissions come from the developing world. However, even if this article claimed what you wanted it to, BurgerFI doesn't obtain their meat from factory farmed livestock. A simple visit to it's website or even a simple re-read of your own open letter, where you state you are all about their "food with no chemicals, no additives and MADE VIA AN EARTH FRIENDLY ETHOS" will indicate that they get their meet fresh from local farms, thus rendering your argument moot. As for the comment on the vegetarian burger being a fail because it has animal products in it, uhhhh ITS NOT A  VEGAN BURGER so it pretty much is WINNING!! If you ask nicely, i imagine they will hold the cheese and any other condiment containing animal products and POOF!! Vegan burger just for you!! Now please, the next time you get the insufferable idea of writing anything and sharing it with the public, remember this...better to remain silent and only be thought an idiot, than to open your mouth (or in your case put it in writing) and remove all doubt!!

Dylan Engelman
Dylan Engelman

I will say though, the author of the article is right about the vegetarian option they do have (the quinoa burger) having animal product in it. That is fail. I mean really... you go out of your way to have a quinoa burger on your menu and you then add animal product to it. Why? It's like Amy's has 2 kinds of mac and cheese. Both using faux cheese. But one has dairy in it. If you're going to put dairy in it, why not just USE CHEESE? Aside from that. Totally agree. If you don't like the food offered at a place, don't patron the place. And if you're in a party of people, and you all are looking to go somewhere that is vegan friendly, then this place won't get your service. And if that happens enough... well... they'll know they should have had a vegan friendly option. Or, they will still do fine, and you ate somewhere else. Really... it's not like there is a lacking of vegan/vegeatarian friendly places around now a days. It's a burger place... what did you expect?

Nick Yastremski
Nick Yastremski

Sure as soon vegan restaurants offer a meat eater option. Like others have said, if you don't like it don't give the business your money. Go to Chuck's Burger Joint, they have a vegetarian option, there meat also sucks now compared to when it opened. So you might not have to worry about all those filthy meat eaters.

Erich Taylor
Erich Taylor

Actually it's not vegan. Veggie burger has cheese in it. I know this because I was there last week and had to go somewhere else because I couldn't eat anything there.

Jennifer Snow Nayak
Jennifer Snow Nayak

I LOVE the veggie burger BurgerFi & it's already vegan (obviously skip the cheese & mayo when you order)- it's actually as good or better than the regular beef.

Ivy Barnes
Ivy Barnes

Don't see the problem. I've never been to a place that didn't off variety. Burger places offer salads and chicken. Steak joints offer fish, poultry, salads etc.. Every Lent each restaurant in this area offers a fish special - even Wendy's and McDonald's. Special diets are nothing new. Variety is nothing new. Why is even this a thing?

Jennifer Yong
Jennifer Yong

Refusing to have a vegan option is refusing to accept $ from some one. If your business is doing so well that you are able to pass up customers then more power to you....... But really, everyone likes $......

Ryan Rahaman
Ryan Rahaman

It's a burger place! I don't expect to go to a vegan place and to be served beef!

gogaspug
gogaspug

Really?!  This is what's important to you?... guilting a burger joint that is already trying to do it better into offering a single vegan option?  Why?  You made a choice to be vegan, and as a result have to accept there will be limited places you can eat.  You are part of a minority and can't expect every chain to cater to your specific restrictions.  Should pescetarians start stomping their feet that BurgerFi doesn't offer a fish sandwich?  And how many carnivores do you think are whining that Native Foods Cafe doesn't offer a surf and turf option?  Face it, you've decided to limit what you eat to a small percentage of the world's edible options.  That's great!... I have no problem with that.  However, you can't expect everyone to be responsible for your ability to find something you can eat.  If vegan-ism was hereditary, your kind would have died out millennia ago.  Do you think the guys dragging the wooly mammoth back to the village would make sure to stop and grab some fiddle heads along the way because stone age Hannah doesn't like mammoth?  No way!


Also, mixed in with your, "woe is me, I can't get a vegan option at a burger joint" whine, is the slam that BurgerFi is not environmentally friendly because meat production isn't environmentally friendly.  However, you want them to truck in the makings of a vegan meal for you (and the 4 other vegans that might want to dine at a restaurant that offers a single item they can eat)?!  How environmentally friendly is that?


The reality is, you miss the social aspect that being a vegan lacks.  You'd love to be able to meet all of your friends for a casual dinner, a few beers and a glass of wine.  But you can't eat anything at a place that has a cool vibe or crowd... because those places gear themselves towards the majority.  And your friends (who are silently sick of your food issues) will not hang at a vegan restaurant.  You could find new friends... all vegan friends who share your passion for all things green... but too many vegans together forms an anti meat militia.  Any group can tolerate one vegan, but a group of vegans is too much for anyone to take... including other vegans.  How to tell if someone is vegan?... don't worry, they'll tell you!  Trust me when I tell you, if I had a dollar for every eye roll your friends give behind your back, I'd be able to buy the whole lot of them double bacon burgers at BurgerFi.


So... eat your animal free meals, but don't complain because they aren't as easy to find as a Subway.  You're the odd one... get used to it.

Allison Little Cosens
Allison Little Cosens

I like that the letter was written respectfully and without the typical PETA-style bashing. I can even see the author's point. However, for a restaurant to list anything on its menu, the item must be profitable. I would imagine in this case, it simply isn't. Sorry!

Chef Seth Evan
Chef Seth Evan

Don't eat there. Don't support places that contribute to the downfall of our planet and all of its inhabitants.

Amanda Moore
Amanda Moore

I think all restaurants should have a vegan plate available

Sam Smith
Sam Smith

Quite true, I'm vegetarian and when we go out to lunch as a group we stay away from the burger joints b/c I assume that there is nothing I can eat. More and more people are going vegetarian and vegan and many businesses realize this and offer options.

mikemoriendi
mikemoriendi

This has to be one of the most self entitled pieces of garbage I have ever read.  And being in South Florida I certainly hear and see my fair share of that.  Believe it or not but not every business in the the entire world has to cater to everyone.


BurgerFi may be environmentally conscious but the founders probably love themselves some cow meat, they have every right to.  And they decided to open up a restaurant, and further that into a chain, to share their love of burgers with other folks that love burgers.  If you don't eat meat, for whatever reason you are free to choose, then you don't have to eat there.  What a concept right?


Should I be pissed if I go to a wine bar and they don't have beer?  Fuck no.  That's not their business.


Complain if you got bad service or if you got a meal that has a finger in it.  Don't complain because a place that you chose to go to, that you knew going in didn't cater to your self chosen eating habits didn't have an item on the menu that you can eat.  I mean for fucks sake, the place is called BurgerFi.


You say you go because your carnivorous friends want to.  You can either go and not eat or go eat somewhere else and catch up with them later.  No need to try to shame a company because they are doing what they want.


Get over yourself.

Erika Novoa Wajcer
Erika Novoa Wajcer

Why will you go to a burger place looking for vegan food?? totally retarded.

OU812
OU812

Dear Vegan - Don't go to a burger joint and complain that they don't have anything for you to eat. Maybe people should go to Green Bar and complain that they don't serve steak, or go down to The Cubby Hole and complain that there are no straight people there. Know your place, you chose to be vegan, don't expect people to cater to you. If you were truly vegan, you wouldn't support places that serve meat or that don't practice to vegan standards. I sure I don't.

Shenaynay
Shenaynay

@ralphpetrucci  ralph you are a cavone! The vegefi has cheese and eggs in the mixture therefore hold the cheese does not work!

Shenaynay
Shenaynay

vegans do not eat any animal product

icculus17
icculus17

this is not true, they are called "loss leaders" products that get people in the door even though they don't pull a profit

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