Organic fast food chain opens in Chicagoland area
Nic’s Organic Fast Food, is scheduled to double its presence in the Chicagoland area by adding additional locations in the Chicago Loop (fall 2018) and Evanston in 2019. The openings reflect the concept’s strong growth by establishing itself as the first and only certified organic drive-thru in the country and creating its own innovative space in the competitive quick-serve restaurant category.
With two locations at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg and another in Rolling Meadows, Nic’s has become a destination location for those seeking a healthy alternative to traditional processed fast food. Every menu item is certified organic through Quality Assurance International (QAI), a stringent certification process ensuring foods are free of pesticides and other chemicals.
“Nic’s is the result of a lack of organic fast-food in the quick-serve market,” says co-founder and CEO Benjamin Brittsan, who along with his wife, Nicole, created the concept along with their business partner, Neal Zeavy in 2016. “Established chains offer one or two organic items, but none have been certified completely organic through the stringent QAI organic certification process like we have been.”
Nic’s offers an all-organic menu featuring made-to-order organic beef burgers, veggie burgers, vegan burgers (featuring 15 grams of plant-based protein) breakfast sandwiches, salads and shakes, as well as organic gluten free chicken nuggets, organic grilled chicken sandwich, and organic NicFries.
Additionally, Nic’s features kids meals, breakfast items and drink options including Honest brand organic iced teas and organic sodas. “Nic’s is the only fast food restaurant in the country where diners can enjoy a myriad of food options for nearly every dietary lifestyle, “said Brittsan. “We offer low-carb, vegan, vegetarian to gluten-free.” Everything is made without harmful pesticides, chemicals, preservatives, ionizing radiation, artificial dyes or colors, added hormones, or the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s).
To be a “certified organic restaurant” a certified organic inspector through QAI inspects every single aspect of the operation,” explains Brittsan. “Every ingredient, certification of each product, food suppliers, sanitation – and more - must meet the requirements, rules and regulations of QAI standards for certified organic.”
Customer response has been overwhelmingly positive, with many customers driving upwards of an hour or crossing state lines for Nic’s Organic Fast Food. “We have had customers drive from Canada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Minnesota. From rural towns in South Dakota to travelers re-routing their cross-country trips – it’s amazing,” said Zeavy.
“As the nation’s first certified organic fast food hamburger joint, we wanted to create a restaurant with all organic ingredients with the convenience and flavor that works for today’s family on-the-go,” said Nicole Brittsan. “I feed my kids organic food at home and wanted to be able to take them to a restaurant that has an all-organic menu when we dine out.”
The restaurant concept has seen steady growth since it opened in early 2017, with sales increasing each month and company-wide sales doubling annually. New stores will open in the fall of 2018 in Chicago Loop (180 North LaSalle), and Evanston in 2019, joining the two current locations in the Chicago area in Rolling Hills and Woodfield Mall. Delivery is also available via Uber Eats.
Within five years, the company hopes for a nationwide expansion in major markets such as New York, Boston, Southern California, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Austin, Denver, Phoenix and South Florida. “Once we are done in Chicago with our four to five units, we expect to have 25 units at the end of 2019 and 75 by the end of 2020,” predicts Zeavy.
“We truly believe we are the future of fast food and we aspire to be in most major cities and from coast to coast as the years progress,” said all three founders of the Nic’s team: Neal Zeavy and Benjamin and Nicole Brittsan. “A bit ambitious, yes, but we all like to think big.”
Source: Nic’s Organic Fast Food