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Why do no national burger chains have veggie burgers?

Bob Dobalina May 21, 2012 07:43 AM

It seems to me that selling a veggie burger would only be a benefit to a chain like McDonald's.
Anyone know why this has not been done?
It would seem that there is vast untapped potential here.
I know I would go more often if I could get a veggie cheeseburger with fries and a coke.

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  1. i
    INDIANRIVERFL RE: Bob Dobalina May 21, 2012 07:48 AM

    If it had a large enough market, it would be there. But it is not viable. Neither is a locovar or organic chain. All fringes on the North American economy.

    Check back in thirty years.

    12 Replies
      dddanieljjjamesss RE: INDIANRIVERFL Jun 20, 2012 11:42 AM

      Check out Life Alive. Currently only in Boston Metro but I heard from a friend who manages the Salem site that they are expanding to other states. It's happening, and it's not going to take thirty years!

      1. re: dddanieljjjamesss
        ferret RE: dddanieljjjamesss Jun 20, 2012 12:51 PM

        Again, there are enough non-burger-chain vegetarian choices around but that doesn't address the initial question regarding established burger chains not catering to the non-meat crowd.

        1. re: ferret
          cwdonald RE: ferret Jun 23, 2012 06:00 AM

          Its simple. Vegetarians don't go there enough to justify the cost. McDonalds Wendys and BK have all test marketed veggie burgers and clearly found its not worth it. They are in the business to make money not create good health.

          1. re: cwdonald
            rozz01 RE: cwdonald Jun 25, 2012 08:44 PM

            BK does sell a veggie burger.

            1. re: rozz01
              choctastic RE: rozz01 Jul 1, 2012 08:06 PM

              Yeah, McDonalds actually served a vegan burger for a while (they used the Boca Burger brand), but demand was lackluster, so they canned it. I ate it every chance got, but I'm only one person.

              BK sells a veggieburger that looks pretty good, but it's not vegan so I haven't had it.

              1. re: choctastic
                westsidegal RE: choctastic Aug 14, 2012 06:56 PM

                i was the other person who was frequently eating the McDonald's veggie burger.
                i wanted them to keep it on the menu.
                i suspect there were only two of us. . . .

                1. re: westsidegal
                  jo_jo_ba RE: westsidegal Dec 29, 2012 04:55 PM

                  Last time I was in BC I had McD's veg burger, was the last I ever saw of it. If they had kept it around I'd actually go there

                2. re: choctastic
                  bearfromobx RE: choctastic Aug 26, 2012 03:20 PM

                  Doesn't BK's burger use egg as a binder?

                3. re: rozz01
                  vegiefudie RE: rozz01 Dec 4, 2012 08:13 AM

                  But you will throw up if you try that. I have tried, yuck !!!!

                  1. re: rozz01
                    Science Chick RE: rozz01 Dec 5, 2012 01:16 PM

                    Pretty sure they serve Gardenburgers...not sure if they grill them on the same grill as the meat though!

                  2. re: cwdonald
                    lenwood RE: cwdonald Aug 15, 2012 08:17 AM

                    I go to BK every time fast food becomes necessary... If there are other people with me I'll insist on going to BK. In that sense-- you can't measure how your sales are affected by just the amount of veggie burgers sold, but also the other people with the person buying veggie burgers.

                    1. re: lenwood
                      LulusMom RE: lenwood Aug 15, 2012 09:13 AM

                      Absolutely. I won't go to any other fast food place (and even BK is a very rare thing for us), and so my non-vegetarian family ends up eating there too.

            2. ipsedixit RE: Bob Dobalina May 21, 2012 07:50 AM

              Because they are not profitable.

              Certain chains (e.g. McDonald's) has veggie burgers in non-US markets. But I'm sure their market research shows that the US market does not want a vegetarian burger alternative, and if they offered one it would not be profitable.

              That said, Burger King has a Veggie Burger.

              6 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit
                LisaPA RE: ipsedixit May 23, 2012 11:14 AM

                A friend of mine had a veggie burger at McDonald's in India. He said if they made that here, he would eat at McDonald's all the time.

                1. re: LisaPA
                  ferret RE: LisaPA May 23, 2012 11:18 AM

                  McDonald's has tested it in the US so if it's not showing up in stores it's because there's no market for it. Like the controversy with their fries having a beef fat coating I don't think real vegetarians would trust that it's prepared separately from animal products and for those who are less stringent, it's just not that large a market.

                  1. re: LisaPA
                    ipsedixit RE: LisaPA May 24, 2012 07:36 AM

                    Your friend alone, or your friend and bunch of people like your friend, are probably not enough to make a veggie burger at McDonald's profitable.

                    I'm pretty sure McDonald's has researched this in the U.S. market and concluded that crappy salads in plastic boxes is a better play.

                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      ferret RE: ipsedixit May 24, 2012 08:45 AM

                      The salad appeals more to dieters than a veggie burger would so they're not really aiming for the same market.

                    2. re: LisaPA
                      HungWeiLo RE: LisaPA May 9, 2014 09:40 AM

                      Yeah, it's all about the sales. Most vegetarians here wouldn't even consider McDonald's even if they had a veg burger.

                      I saw a kosher McDonald's in Buenos Aires once. I later found out it was the only one outside of Israel.

                      1. re: HungWeiLo
                        AdinaA RE: HungWeiLo May 9, 2014 10:21 AM

                        Kosher is a little different. MacDonald's has stated their reasons for not opening kosher outlets, and it is due to a worry that secular patrons might inadvertently enter a kosher MacDonalds and order a cheeseburger or a milkshake (kosher rules prohibit cooking or serving meat and dairy together)

                        The worry is that this would cause disappointment that would damage the brand (They' may be right. I mean, Pity the poor employee who has to explain to some hungry dude that he can't have cheese on his burger because in the Book of Exodus it is written that ...)

                        There are kosher Macdonalds in Israel, a country where people expect meat and dairy to be served in separate restaurants. And also one in a heavily Jewish neighborhood of Buenos Aires, although note that it is at the very top of a large mall, you have to go past the regular MacDonalds, and up another escalator to find it - you won't stumble on it by accident.

                        Vegan/veggie is different, since it would be a matter of adding a veggie burger, not of changing anything else on the menu.

                        Kosher and vegan are marketing decisions. Marketers know how many vegans there are in a country and where they eat. They'll offer veggie burgers when they see $$

                        But note that a few years ago MacDonalds stopped frying its fries in beef fat. Meat fats makes fried food taste better. Consumers prefer lard to vegan oils in blind taste tests. But consumers think lard is gross. MacDonalds responded to consumer opinion.

                  2. jes7o RE: Bob Dobalina May 21, 2012 08:13 AM

                    Burger King. I hate them, but they do have the BK Veggie, even here in rural Indiana. It's a Morningstar patty.

                    If we're going to go into casual dining, you can get either a Gardenburger or a Boca patty on any of Red Robin's burgers. I. LOVE. IT!

                    Burgerville (a PNW chain) has a spicy black bean burger on their menu.

                    1. c
                      comestible RE: Bob Dobalina May 21, 2012 08:48 AM

                      One more reason to stay out of those big chain restaurants!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: comestible
                        noya RE: comestible May 30, 2012 04:22 PM


                      2. m
                        mmalmad RE: Bob Dobalina May 21, 2012 09:54 AM

                        Burger King does have Morningstar Farms veggie burgers here in CT, but if you really want to see a confused server, order a Whopper, hold the beef

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: mmalmad
                          rozz01 RE: mmalmad May 24, 2012 02:13 PM

                          We have the option here in Iowa also. It was odd to finally be able to order food at the same place as my parents.

                          1. re: mmalmad
                            bearfromobx RE: mmalmad Aug 26, 2012 03:23 PM

                            Do they look like a confused puppy, cocking their head to the side?

                            1. re: bearfromobx
                              rozz01 RE: bearfromobx Aug 29, 2012 07:29 PM

                              My parents suffered through Morningstar for years, sometimes even liked it

                            2. re: mmalmad
                              jules127 RE: mmalmad Oct 17, 2012 10:41 AM

                              I used to order a "vegetable whopper" all the time when I was in college! It was always in the drive-thru but I did usually get a long pause after I ordered. It is so strange, it tasted exactly the same as the whopper with beef but obviously without the texture there from the beef patty.

                            3. majordanby RE: Bob Dobalina May 21, 2012 12:29 PM

                              they should explore putting veggie burgers in areas with relatively large concentrations of vegetarians/vegans (e.g. CA Bay Area). however, no way it would go nationwide - the demand is not there.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: majordanby
                                Bob Dobalina RE: majordanby May 21, 2012 12:45 PM

                                Thanks for all the responses, everyone. I am in the Boston area and was thinking of urban centers, rather than nationally, so also thought it could work here.

                                I guess my question comes from the frustration of not being able to satisfy my cravings while on the road. The BK Veggie may do the trick.

                                1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                  choctastic RE: Bob Dobalina Jul 1, 2012 08:08 PM

                                  Subway has a veggie burger and even sort of a vegan burger, if you hold the mayo and cheese on the veggie delite, which then becomes basically a salad on a bun.

                              2. Crockett67 RE: Bob Dobalina May 21, 2012 07:17 PM

                                Demand and implementing/training really. A minimal wage grill cook is not going to understand/care that grilling the veggie patty on the same grill (s)he just finished grilling a burger is like dredging the burger across the bathroom floor for some people.

                                It was hard enough making sure we had a fryer dedicated wheat free in a Mexican restaurant (we had four fryers) where 99% of all items we fried was corn tortillas and only had the occasional chimichanga or flour tortilla bowl for salads. If that was a challenge for one restaurant, imagine trying to implement a no meat zone on a busy grill in 100K restaurants across the US.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Crockett67
                                  smithareeny RE: Crockett67 May 23, 2012 11:55 AM

                                  Burger King microwaves their veggie burger.

                                  1. re: smithareeny
                                    WildDraw4 RE: smithareeny May 9, 2014 09:10 AM

                                    That makes me more likely to return to Burger King - thanks for this info!

                                2. f
                                  ferret RE: Bob Dobalina May 23, 2012 12:05 PM

                                  And there's still "natural beef flavor" added to McDonald's french fries, which they no longer claim are "vegetarian."

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: ferret
                                    MplsM ary RE: ferret May 29, 2012 09:13 PM

                                    From McDonald's nutrition sheet:
                                    "French Fries:
                                    Potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*, citric acid [preservative]), dextrose, sodium acid
                                    pyrophosphate (maintain color), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to
                                    preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.
                                    CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK.
                                    *(Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients)."

                                    Be horrified all you want but they are vegetarian.

                                    1. re: MplsM ary
                                      ferret RE: MplsM ary May 30, 2012 05:54 AM

                                      If you consider "natural beef flavor" to be vegetarian. And nothing in that list horrifies me.


                                      1. re: ferret
                                        MplsM ary RE: ferret May 30, 2012 07:15 AM

                                        Good to know. Burger King wins.

                                        1. re: ferret
                                          LulusMom RE: ferret May 30, 2012 07:45 AM

                                          So McD's just out and out lies. Wow.

                                        2. re: MplsM ary
                                          Funkalicious RE: MplsM ary Jun 10, 2012 02:56 PM

                                          the horrid of that list. If you never heard of Monsanto or GMO's in Canola, cor, soybeans look it up !!!

                                        3. re: ferret
                                          IndyGirl RE: ferret Jul 10, 2012 01:19 PM

                                          That is reprehensible.

                                          1. re: ferret
                                            veggin RE: ferret Jul 22, 2013 07:06 AM

                                            McD's used to use their "Formula 47" shortening, which was basically beef fat. In early 90's they said they had switched to an "All Vegetable" shortening, only to learn later they were using a Formular 47/Vegetable shortening mix. They do have a track record of lying.

                                          2. westsidegal RE: Bob Dobalina May 23, 2012 10:44 PM

                                            the veggie burger has been tried.
                                            i did all i could to support the effort, but not enough other customers supported the product.
                                            they served it with a barbeque sauce iirc.

                                            1. j
                                              johnnylaguardia RE: Bob Dobalina May 28, 2012 05:16 PM

                                              Elevation Burger is not a nationwide chain, but I've seen them in Pennsylvania and Virginia. They have a veggie burger and a different vegan one.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: johnnylaguardia
                                                ferret RE: johnnylaguardia May 29, 2012 06:29 AM

                                                The places that market themselves as upscale burger joints like Elevation and The Counter offer vegetarian options because it's part of their culture.

                                              2. LulusMom RE: Bob Dobalina May 29, 2012 06:33 AM

                                                As others have pointed out, Burger King has veggie burgers, and they're happy to put cheese on them for the non-vegans out there. I like them, and that is my go-to meal when we're on the road in the middle of nowhere. I'm really amused by the idea of asking for a Whopper, hold the beef.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: LulusMom
                                                  Pipenta RE: LulusMom Jun 26, 2012 12:37 PM

                                                  My fast food go-to when I am in the middle of nowhere is Subway. Their stuff is fast food, but just tastes more like food* than any of the burger giants' offerings.

                                                  And Subway does have a veggie patty sub, which I have yet to try. But one of these days I will.

                                                  * Well, my idea of food anyway.

                                                  1. re: LulusMom
                                                    IndyGirl RE: LulusMom Jul 10, 2012 01:22 PM

                                                    My friend used to do this at the only fast food place in my tiny farming town when we were in high school. I think it was partially for the shock value since you might as well have had three heads if you were vegetarian! (even funnier- she'd go through the drive

                                                  2. pinehurst RE: Bob Dobalina May 31, 2012 12:07 PM

                                                    I don't know if Fuddruckers is national or not...I know they're East Coast at least from MA to NJ; they have veggie burgers and also healthier non-beef burgers like ostrich.

                                                    1. c
                                                      chrisjuricich RE: Bob Dobalina May 31, 2012 03:45 PM

                                                      Not only is there probably no market, but it's also a basic TASTE thing. If someone makes the choice to be a vegeterarian (ha) I can't imagine them even considering going to Macdonalds in the first place.

                                                      I find their food oddly satisfying in memory but always regret it an hour later-- and their fries are delicious but...I generally eschew the place for health reasons.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: chrisjuricich
                                                        Bob Dobalina RE: chrisjuricich Jun 5, 2012 07:40 AM

                                                        Agree in part on the taste thing, but when you are trucking down I-95 for a four hour stint, you need something to quiet the belly, with McDonald's fries and shake being the most frequent option. It's either that or cigarettes.

                                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                                          ferret RE: Bob Dobalina Jun 5, 2012 08:47 AM

                                                          As discussed above, the fries aren't technically vegetarian, if that matters to you.

                                                          1. re: ferret
                                                            Bob Dobalina RE: ferret Jun 5, 2012 11:50 AM

                                                            Thanks for mentioning that again. I found their descriptions of "natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*" and "*(Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients)" highly misleading.

                                                            A fair reading makes it sound like they get the beef flavor by somehow manipulating milk and wheat. That is not the case, as your link and others point out.

                                                            It's a shame they feel it is necessary to make their product this way.

                                                      2. s
                                                        small h RE: Bob Dobalina Jun 2, 2012 12:01 PM

                                                        McDonald's did offer a vegetarian burger for a short time, the McVeggie. I tried it at the McDonald's on 6th Ave. & E. 8th St. in Manhattan. It tasted like (my vague recollection of) a McDonald's hamburger, perhaps because it was cooked on the same grill as the regular hamburgers, perhaps because everything McDonald's makes tastes like McDonald's. In any case, I hated it and didn't finish it. But it was a very important event, the introduction of this meatless patty, so important that the New York Times wrote about it:


                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: small h
                                                          Caitlin McGrath RE: small h Jun 3, 2012 12:17 PM

                                                          Oh, I remember how they promoted it. I would regularly walk by the McDonald's on Broadway near E 4th, right by NYU, and they had banners announcing availability of the McVeggie hanging outside. I gathered at the time that it was a standard offering in some European outlets but, as you say, a Big Deal was made about the test-marketing of it in a few US locations.

                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                            small h RE: Caitlin McGrath Jun 4, 2012 03:44 PM

                                                            The banner is what drew me in, as I am a sucker for banners. Did you try the McVeggie yourself? I don't mind a fake meat patty now & then - I'm partial to Boca's All American Flame Grilled - but the McVeggie had that very particular grease flavor common to all McDonald's products (even the apple pie).

                                                            Also, thanks very much for kindly ignoring my mention of a non-existent intersection in my previous post. In my defense, I have a fever.

                                                        2. f
                                                          Funkalicious RE: Bob Dobalina Jun 10, 2012 02:55 PM

                                                          It's not fast food joint like McD's but Houston or Hillstone is a national chain that has amazing veggie burger. It's expensive but so worth it. I figured out the recipe will be posting it.

                                                          "Ultimately, how a restaurant rises to the challenge of a veggie burger can be a telling sign of its cooks’ core values." NYTimes -http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/23/din...



                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Funkalicious
                                                            westsidegal RE: Funkalicious Jun 26, 2012 11:12 AM

                                                            two things about the houston's veggie burger:
                                                            1) yes, it is terrific
                                                            2) my local houston's offers free corkage for wine.
                                                            even though i still tip the server for serving the wine, it still makes for a great value at dinner.

                                                          2. f
                                                            Funkalicious RE: Bob Dobalina Jun 10, 2012 02:58 PM

                                                            Interesting, I think Subway's has more stores in USA than McD's nobody mention their veggie patty. probably cause it's disgusting.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: Funkalicious
                                                              LulusMom RE: Funkalicious Jun 10, 2012 03:37 PM

                                                              I don't think I could get past the smell of the rolls to get myself into a Subway.

                                                              1. re: LulusMom
                                                                Pipenta RE: LulusMom Jun 26, 2012 12:39 PM

                                                                Well, it ain't perfume. But it doesn't smell any worse than BK or McDonald's.

                                                              2. re: Funkalicious
                                                                ferret RE: Funkalicious Jun 10, 2012 07:00 PM

                                                                Because the title of this thread was referring to burger places.

                                                                1. re: Funkalicious
                                                                  rozz01 RE: Funkalicious Jun 15, 2012 10:28 AM

                                                                  I like the veggie patty, it's tasty as long as you don't have them nuke it...

                                                                2. f
                                                                  Funkalicious RE: Bob Dobalina Jun 13, 2012 05:33 PM

                                                                  Look what Subway's is about to release nationwide


                                                                  1. g
                                                                    gflorhuerta RE: Bob Dobalina Jun 21, 2012 09:12 AM

                                                                    Subways has a Veggie Patty and it is NOT morning star farms, I 'm quite sure. As already mentioned, BKing has a veggie burger, but it is not that great and if you're vegan, the patty has egg in it. I also know Subways is expanding their vegetarian/vegan options.

                                                                    1. Peaches to Poutine RE: Bob Dobalina Jun 26, 2012 10:54 AM

                                                                      Here in Canada, Harvey's makes an excellent veggie burger that is vegan. Even better, you get to choose what you want on it (mustard/BBQ sauce/banana peppers for me). The BK Veggie here is actually vegan-friendly, but I don't know why the one in the US isn't. There is a rumor that we have the vegan patty for Subway, but as I am not a fan of Subway, I can neither confirm nor deny.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Peaches to Poutine
                                                                        emeats RE: Peaches to Poutine Jun 26, 2012 11:17 AM

                                                                        I was just about to post about Harvey's! They're everywhere here! http://www.harveys.ca/eng/veggie.php

                                                                        1. re: emeats
                                                                          Peaches to Poutine RE: emeats Jun 26, 2012 12:27 PM

                                                                          Apparently, it's the bun for the Harvey's veggie burger that isn't vegan. There is egg white in it. Don't get me wrong, I am vegan, but sometimes I just go, "Oy."

                                                                      2. Kris in Beijing RE: Bob Dobalina Jul 1, 2012 08:32 PM

                                                                        Maybe the "big burger chains" don't service the vegetarians because there're too many variables.
                                                                        What Kind of Vegetarian would they be feeding?
                                                                        1. LACTO VEGETARIANS
                                                                        2. LACTO-OVO-VEGETARIANS
                                                                        3. VEGANS
                                                                        4. FRUITARIANS
                                                                        5. Pescatarian
                                                                        6. Macrobiotic

                                                                        And those are just the big ones that come to mind.

                                                                        1. r
                                                                          rasputina RE: Bob Dobalina Jul 10, 2012 01:31 PM

                                                                          Carl's Jr you can substitute fried zucchini's for the burger patty.

                                                                          1. LulusMom RE: Bob Dobalina Aug 15, 2012 02:46 AM

                                                                            I was happily surprised to see that Amtrak has a vegan burger on the menu in their club car. And the person ahead of me ordered it.

                                                                            1. m
                                                                              Mercury702 RE: Bob Dobalina Aug 15, 2012 10:27 AM

                                                                              I've had a veggie burger at the following.

                                                                              Cheeburger Cheeburger
                                                                              Hard Rock Cafe

                                                                              1. m
                                                                                MeMeMe RE: Bob Dobalina Aug 15, 2012 10:31 AM

                                                                                In Canada, Harvey's is a national chain with an amazing veggie burger. Hero Burger and Lick's are also well known for their above average veggie burgers.

                                                                                1. westsidegal RE: Bob Dobalina Aug 16, 2012 04:25 PM

                                                                                  johnny rocket's sells veggie burgers.
                                                                                  i believe they are boca burgers by kraft

                                                                                  1. m
                                                                                    murphlaw152 RE: Bob Dobalina Sep 2, 2012 07:25 PM

                                                                                    Vegetarians tend to be health conscious and would never eat at a place like McDonald's or Burger King. That includes me. The market just isn't big enough. Their ingredients disturb me and their veggie burgers would most definitely include genetically modified soy. I always opted for a grilled cheese from In-N-Out, which is the burger without the beef. Satisfied my cravings for In-N-Out.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: murphlaw152
                                                                                      MplsM ary RE: murphlaw152 Oct 17, 2012 12:13 AM

                                                                                      Disagree with the market argument. Been vegetarian since 1974. Groan. I've been talking about this a very long time. The market for every dang sector of every bleedin' wherewithal has been researched, and now we have a few options in the big, bad world of fast food!

                                                                                      That's because the market is growing and the vegetarians (and vegans) are oh, so vocal.

                                                                                      Look, you may not like the options afforded you right now, but you can now get a salad without bacon or eggs pretty much anywhere. Until the 90's that was a rare feat.

                                                                                      I LOVE the not-so-organic veggie burger from Burger King. With fries.

                                                                                      1. re: MplsM ary
                                                                                        truepeacenik RE: MplsM ary Nov 2, 2012 03:29 PM

                                                                                        Since 1980 for me, age 13.
                                                                                        If we think of fast food as lowest common denominator, it makes sense that few chains have persevered with veg*n options.

                                                                                        We have to get main line sit down restaurants with consistently decent veg patties.
                                                                                        Problem is, there are only so many suppliers, and a lot of them are lackluster, so I have a problem paying $10 for Boca in a restaurant. Especially if the critter is $8.
                                                                                        But I don't have a problem paying $10 for great steamed or roasted vegetables in an interesting and tasty sauce.

                                                                                        But to the original question, Fatburger, which has banners reading"I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat soy" has veggie burgers.
                                                                                        They are nice enough to allay the burger and fries craving.

                                                                                        1. re: truepeacenik
                                                                                          MplsM ary RE: truepeacenik Nov 3, 2012 11:07 AM

                                                                                          I know what you're saying when it comes to pricing. I've found that when the pricing of a veggie burger is less than the price of a cow burger, the probability is either a) the patty was nuked or b) the patty was fried on a flat top with no designated vegetarian space. When a burger costs more, it usually has to do with the kitchen being conscientious enough to clean the flat top space for a veggie burger - taking away space from their regular cash cow burger. Of course this is a sweeping generalization and not to be counted as a real rule. It's just been my experience.

                                                                                          It's nice to meet someone who became vegetarian as a young teen (I was 14) and is still a vegetarian. More have come after, but few from my age group stayed vegetarian.

                                                                                      2. re: murphlaw152
                                                                                        fancynancypants RE: murphlaw152 Dec 4, 2012 09:00 PM

                                                                                        The In N Out grilled cheese definitely is my go-to fast food! It's been long enough that I really don't miss the meat at all. I had a standard Double-Double about a year ago as the official end of a 4-month meat-eating stint, and as my first meal back in California after living in Spain and I really wasn't overly impressed. I think I actually prefer the grilled cheese. I don't eat fast food from anywhere else unless absolutely necessary.

                                                                                        On the other hand, if I'm at a regular restaurant and there's some form of bean burger on the menu, there's a 95% chance that that's what I'm ordering because I love seeing what restaurants are doing to try to get away from Boca burgers!

                                                                                      3. c
                                                                                        chef1at RE: Bob Dobalina Oct 16, 2012 08:12 PM

                                                                                        SMASH BURGER has an awesome black bean burger. Seems to be a chain popping up in New Jersey & New York. I am not a vegetarian and still order it (with sweet potato fries) when I go. Excellent!

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: chef1at
                                                                                          Jetgirly RE: chef1at Dec 6, 2012 06:20 AM

                                                                                          We've got them here in Alberta, Canada and I agree that their black bean burger is good. I tend to get the default "southwest" version and find it a little moist with the burger and toppings, but still good.

                                                                                        2. h
                                                                                          HerneWebber RE: Bob Dobalina Nov 25, 2012 02:12 PM

                                                                                          I have not seen anyone mention that, though McDonald's tried a test-marketed burger, they didn't bother to remove the animal products from THEIR FRIES and BUNS. There was a stink a few years ago when vegans sued over the beef flavouring used on their fries during the pre-cooking process. It's still there, which is why I don't eat their fries, nor their morning hash-browns (which have the same shit). Morning biscuits and croissants at McDs and BK are both fine (for lacto-ovos). The bun BK uses for their veggie burger is vegetarian, but the one they use for their whopper has lard. The cooking oil at Wendy's has tallow in it, and their pouches of salad dressings ALL have gelatin in them. See, that's the problem, not just the marketing or profits, or seeing that we do not dine alone (i.e., sans meat-eaters). The problem is just understanding what is and isn't acceptable to us. And when they *do* cater to us, they apparently do not seek our input first, during, or after. It's not like we have never written to them to complain, so that means they know on various levels of their management, but they do not care enough to bother with us.

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                                                                                            smoledman RE: Bob Dobalina Dec 14, 2012 04:39 PM

                                                                                            Veggie burgers sound horrifying to me. I eat mostly vegetables, but when it's time for a burger then might as well eat the real thing.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: smoledman
                                                                                              westsidegal RE: smoledman Jan 22, 2013 07:17 PM

                                                                                              beg to disagree.
                                                                                              generally speaking, there are two categories of veggie burgers:
                                                                                              1) those that attempt to look, taste, and have the texture of meat such as boca burgers
                                                                                              2) those that are just vegetable patties, that make no attempt to mimic meat, such as dr. praegers (sp?)

                                                                                              i agree that the veggie burgers in the first category can be horrid, but i've found some really good burgers in the second category.

                                                                                              i eat most of my meals in restaurants here in Los Angeles. the burgers i like most are the ones served at Houston"s (a chain) and Cafe Gratitude

                                                                                            2. jes7o RE: Bob Dobalina Dec 18, 2012 04:04 AM

                                                                                              FYI: They're not on the menu, but if you have a Culver's Frozen Custard near you (They're a growing chain out of Wisconsin), you can get a Gardenburger Veggie burger at any of their restaurants. About 1000% better than the BK, as the bun is fluffy and tasty...they also make use of veggies that actually look and taste like veggies!

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                                                                                                Laaaar RE: Bob Dobalina Dec 19, 2012 02:40 AM

                                                                                                Because if they did, they would be disgusting anyway.

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                                                                                                  veggin RE: Bob Dobalina Jul 22, 2013 06:58 AM

                                                                                                  I recently wrote to McD's about why they don't offer a Veggie Burger. Here's their reply:

                                                                                                  At McDonald's, we're sensitive to the special dietary requests of our customers. We're always reviewing our menu, developing new products and searching for ways to satisfy the many tastes of the nearly 50 million customers we serve each day. Ultimately, however, it's our customers who choose what's on our menu. And, we'll continue to offer those products that are most popular with a majority of our customers.

                                                                                                  Please know that we have tested several veggieburgers and other vegetarian menu options in different parts of the United States and, at this time, have chosen not to offer them on our national menu. We will, however, continue to look at these products and make decisions that make sense from a customer interest and sales perspective.

                                                                                                  Basically, they're just not popular enough for McD's. Too bad. I'll just have to stick to the BK Veggie, then.

                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: veggin
                                                                                                    LulusMom RE: veggin Jul 22, 2013 08:33 AM

                                                                                                    As much as it would be nice for McD's to have veggie burgers, if they're not selling, then it isn't economically viable for them to keep making them.

                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                      veggin RE: LulusMom Jul 22, 2013 11:58 AM

                                                                                                      How would we know they would not sell? I'm curious to know the BK Veggie sales numbers. They've been on the menu at BK for a long time. They must be selling well enough to keep them on the menu.

                                                                                                      1. re: veggin
                                                                                                        Science Chick RE: veggin Jul 22, 2013 01:25 PM

                                                                                                        BK uses Gardenburgers. I mean, how difficult is it to stock a frozen veggie burger. C'mon! Maybe McD's was referring to the effort of coming up with their own? Either way, I don't think I would get one there.

                                                                                                        1. re: Science Chick
                                                                                                          MplsM ary RE: Science Chick Jul 22, 2013 02:45 PM

                                                                                                          They use Morningstar burgers which can be (and are, at BK) nuked.

                                                                                                          1. re: MplsM ary
                                                                                                            veggin RE: MplsM ary Jul 23, 2013 03:07 AM

                                                                                                            All the burgers at McD's are nuked. They use a staging system: the meat is precooked and kept in a cabinet, the buns are pretoasted. Then they're put together, with condiments, and nuked.

                                                                                                            1. re: veggin
                                                                                                              ferret RE: veggin Jul 23, 2013 07:11 AM

                                                                                                              No, they don't microwave their burgers. They cook them on a two-sided griddle (like a sandwich press) and then store them in a holding cabinet at temperature for no more than fifteen minutes:


                                                                                                              Say what you will about McDonald's but they have their food delivery down to a science. Quick and consistent.

                                                                                                              1. re: ferret
                                                                                                                veggin RE: ferret Jul 24, 2013 03:15 AM

                                                                                                                I worked at McD's. They do use a "Clam Shell" (2 sided) grill to cook the patties, but the burgers are later put in a microwave called a "Q" oven (or Q-ing them)

                                                                                                                Check for yourself:


                                                                                                        2. re: veggin
                                                                                                          LulusMom RE: veggin Jul 22, 2013 05:04 PM

                                                                                                          I think they are basically saying, in the email above, that they tried, they didn't end up selling, so it wasn't a good business decision. If they take up space and don't sell, they need to make a decision, and unfortunately for those of us who would like a veggie burger, they are going to base that decision on $$. Taking up space and not selling doesn't = $$.

                                                                                                    2. weinstein5 RE: Bob Dobalina Jul 22, 2013 07:44 AM

                                                                                                      red robin offers two vegetarian varieties -

                                                                                                      1. KaimukiMan RE: Bob Dobalina Jul 23, 2013 03:23 AM

                                                                                                        Because most people who are looking for a veggie burger are trying to eat healthy food, and that isn't the image that the national burger chains, especially the fast food chains, have.

                                                                                                        In other words most (not all) people who want a veggie burger wouldn't be caught dead in a McDonalds and would only drive thru in a rented car with heavily tinted windows.

                                                                                                        1. Ttrockwood RE: Bob Dobalina Jul 25, 2013 09:32 PM

                                                                                                          Fatburger just opened in nyc, they are also on west coast and i had their boca burger the other day- it was horrible!! Huge, really thick- like twice as thick as the ones you buy at the market, and they really seriously overcooked the hell out of it.
                                                                                                          In short, maybe the veggie burger testing by bigger chains has failed because they are not cooking the patties properly and turning off the small group of supporters they once had....

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                                                                                                            Funkalicious RE: Bob Dobalina Dec 19, 2013 05:36 AM

                                                                                                            Not in the USA yet, but probably coming soon Dominos Vegan Pizza.


                                                                                                            I wouldn't want a USA verison of Domino's soy pizza - it probably be a Monsanto's science project. Avoid the GMO's

                                                                                                            1. k
                                                                                                              K1203 RE: Bob Dobalina Apr 5, 2014 02:04 PM

                                                                                                              On principle I would not buy anything in McDonalds regardless and I don't know of a true vegan/vegetarian that would either.

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                                                                                                                WildDraw4 RE: Bob Dobalina May 9, 2014 09:17 AM

                                                                                                                There is the Burger King Veggie Burger, but I find that it's not very tasty. If my option is Burger King, or another restaurant, I almost always opt for the other restaurant (even if it requires two stops for me and my boyfriend, who adores Burger King).

                                                                                                                Years and years ago Wendy's offered pitas, and I remember being obsessed with the Greek pita (which was a basic greek salad in a pita). I also used to love the Jack in the Box salads, back when the chicken was packed separately. It would be great to see fast food places embrace more veggie friendly alternatives such as this.

                                                                                                                1. janetofreno RE: Bob Dobalina Jun 18, 2014 02:03 AM

                                                                                                                  I was in Japan recently, and went to a local burger chain called Mos Burger. Their veggie burger turned out to be a corn fritter on a bun, and it was delicious! (Served with mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, etc). I think that as a rule veggie burgers do better if they don't try to imitate meat in taste or appearance.

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