Dear Wendy's, Can You Please Go Vegan?

What I love more than anything when eating out with friends is asking the server about their gluten-free, plant-based options and hearing, “We have one delicious garden vegetable salad for you!” What they really should say is “We have a garden vegetable salad with four-day-old romaine, a singular cherry tomato, and about five pieces of sliced mushrooms doused in way too much fat-free Italian vinaigrette.” I know, I know, it is hard to appease the whole crew especially at fast food chains, but it would be nice to get more substance than an eleven calorie rabbit meal, while everyone else chows down a double-double.

Naturally, I got instant heart-eyes when I found out that Little Caesar’s is blessing the pizza-loving vegans with a meat-free sausage topping. Beating out their competitors, Pizza Hut and Domino’s, Little Caesar’s is leading the movement toward cruelty-free eats with a vegan test run. The pizza mogul is offering these new options in Ft. Meyers, Florida, Yakima, Washington, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you are one of the lucky 732,155 people that live in these locations, (yes I did the math) then you are very welcome for the lunch break spot idea. And, if you’re one of the other 326.5 million people in the U.S. (more math YW) then you’re going to have to wait until your local joint is stocked.

Moving forward, I would like to make some recommendations for a few other fast food restaurants that should totally hop on that plant-based train.

1. Wendy's

Courtesy: @jcgellidon

Honestly, I’m not that mad at Wendy’s. I think that our options are somewhat limited to straight carbs, which I liked as a child when I ordered a baked potato and french fries for lunch. I feel like they could do more though. Where’s my black bean burger? Almond milk frosty anyone? Chik’n nugs would be cool. Just a couple of suggestions. Food for thought, if you will.

2. Arby's

Courtesy: @sr_taquito

This may never happen, but I really want Arby’s to come out with plant-based meats. They could totally add some meat-free cold cuts to their sandwich, no biggie; however, they came out with this statement, “The chances we will bring plant-based menu items to our restaurants, now or in the future, are absolutely impossible.” Okay, calm down, I feel like that may be a little dramatic. Nothing is impossible, dream big.

3. Starbucks

To the gluten-free folks in the back, I hear you and I’m here for you. Starbucks doesn’t have a lot of gluten-free, vegan menu items; just some granola bars and avocado spread to name a couple. I’m sorry but that isn’t going to sustain me for over 45 minutes, especially if I’m in a rush. Maybe we could do a smoothie makeover? Add some almond milk in there and maybe some protein powder? A gf muffin by chance?

The good news is that the market is exploding with more plant-based options, which I am so grateful for. As a celiac vegetarian who’s afraid of milk, I stan diverse restaurant options and love a vegan moment. Vegans deserve speedy and affordable meals too. @Wendys, @Arbys, @Starbucks HMU if you need more ideas as to how we can make this happen.