Meet the Crouch End duo taking on McDonald's
- Credit: Ready Burger
A Crouch End fast-food shop has opened its second store just four months after launching, with plans already afoot for two more London venues.
Ready Burger, which opened its pilot store in May, is a quick service restaurant (QSR) that just happens to be plant-based.
It aims to revolutionise the fast-food industry by making plant-based burgers that are so meat-like and so cheap that customers can't tell the difference.
Founded by former Highgate School pupil Max Miller and chef Adam Clark, Ready Burger prides itself on fast service and low prices.
The Ham&High went down to the Park Road store to try it for ourselves, and everything from the Ready Burger to The Chicken Challenger was impressively meaty.
The eatery nailed perfectly-crisp fries and an array of homemade sauces to accompany the extraordinarily chicken-y Crispy Dippers.
Max explained: “I scoured the country to find the best plant-based food.
“When Adam and I started working together, we realised it was the price parity that hadn’t been looked at in the market.
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“The barriers to entry for vegan food were just too high and that wasn’t going to help the conversion of the masses to start following a vegetarian or plant-based diet."
Adam, who formerly owned a vegan restaurant in Sheffield, added: “We want to tackle the affordability, accessibility and inclusivity of plant-based food.
“We’re out here to challenge QSRs so we need to make sure our speed of service and business model can give customers the experience they expect."
The duo have spent months perfecting the textures and tastes of their offering, driven by the determination to make their products indistinguishable from those traditionally associated with fast food.
Six weeks ago, Ready Burger opened its second store on Finchley Road, opposite the O2 Centre.
"As a small start-up, we’ve sold something like 150,000 products in under six months," Max said.
“Most people who come here are meat-eaters, and we like when people say ‘I feel like I’ve been tricked’ - that’s kind of the point.”
Both of the founders live a primarily plant-based lifestyle, except for when they are trying out burgers in rival chains.
Max said: “For the purpose of science, we occasionally test meat products on the market to compare our own products and ensure we're getting it right.
“Give us five years in this space and we see real opportunity to be leading the market.”