VEGAN SOUTHERN COMFORT FOOD CHAIN EXPANDS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE - Food & Beverage Magazine

VEGAN SOUTHERN COMFORT FOOD CHAIN EXPANDS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE

Dharma Southern Kitchen inks deal for their fifth location as demand for plant-based food heats up in the Low Country and Gulf States
Dharma Southern Kitchen, a popular 100% plant-based Southern comfort food restaurant has announced expansion plans in the state of Florida throughout 2022 and an aggressive, yet strategic, growth plan for the Southeast and beyond in 2023. Additionally, the restaurant recently launched a shared investment funding campaign through the StartEngine platform and will make accessible franchising opportunities for “master franchisers.”
HOW A (VEGAN) HOT DOG CART LAUNCHED A NEW VERSION OF SOUTHERN CUISINE
Dharma Southern Kitchen Founder and Chef, Shaun Noonan, spent years in the world of fine dining across major metropolitan cities in the U.S. and Europe. The desire to serve vegan food he personally loves (home cooked comfort food) and cater to a more inclusive clientele led Shaun to open a vegan hot dog cart in Orlando. The iconic and award-winning hot dog cart is celebrating its 25th year and exists alongside Dharma’s brick and mortar locations. States Shaun, “The hot dog cart was my first entrepreneurial venture out on my own, it is proof that I could build something from scratch and make it wildly successful. As Dharma brick and mortar locations continue to grow, I will always keep the truck. People love it and I’m all about making people happy with comfort food.”
Shaun also won an Emmy for a “Day in the Life” reality restaurant show that aired in 2020 and will resume in 2022. The show will bring additional attention and buzz while it sets out to show the scale of the business and the evolution of the team.
THE FOOD & THE UBIQUITOUS ORANGE BIRD
Twists on Southern classics like biscuits and gravy, fried “chick’n”, grits, fried green tomato sandwiches, and slaw, as well as salads and down-home sides. The price range is $3.50 for sides and up to $16 for meals.
TOP SELLING ITEMS
  • Dharma’s Fried Chick’n – $13.50
  • The Orange Bird – $13.50
  • Nashville “Hawt” – $14.99
  • Mac n’ Cheese – $4.50
The restaurant vibe is certainly one of family, with bright yet homey nods to Florida pop-culture like the Orange Bird. An unofficial mascot of Central Florida created by Disney in 1969, the whimsical orange bird mural in the Orlando flagship restaurant is a nod to Shaun’s hometown. You will see the orange bird throughout the city as it perfectly captures the midcentury Sunshine State’s zeitgeist.
ANYONE WITH $190 CAN INVEST
The rise of veganism and the demand for vegan food is skyrocketing and shows no signs of slowing down. Even the largest names in fast food—McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King—introduced vegan versions of their offerings, hoping to keep market share. The popularity of vegan-only restaurants extends far beyond vegans, according to Lori Amos of Scout 22, a vegan marketing and PR firm. She states, “Our fast food and fast casual restaurant clients all say the majority of patrons are not vegan, with as high as 70% identifying as “flexitarians,” in that they are eschewing meat but not fully vegan which makes vegan fast food or fast casual restaurants appealing from an investment perspective.” She further adds, “Dharma Southern Kitchen has proven they have the skill and drive to become massive. There are a number of generalized burger joints, but fine vittles comfort food, that is new and exciting.”
ABOUT DHARMA SOUTHERN KITCHEN
Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, Dharma Southern Kitchen is a privately held company founded by Chef Shaun Noonan. The Company is committed to serving only 100% vegan food to punctuate how deliciously crave-worthy comfort food can be without animal derived ingredients. In 2019 the Dharma Foundation, a 501(c)(3) was formed to provide financial and volunteer support for local Florida communities with a focus on humanitarian, environmental and animal welfare. The food is made to order with quality ingredients. To learn more about the restaurants, the food truck, the menu options and hours visit https://dharmasouthernkitchen.com. #dharmasouthernkitchen
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