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  1. #1
    Valmont is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    McDonalds on Steroids

    Fast food gets healthy too
    Monday, September 23, 2002 Posted: 5:18 PM EDT (2118 GMT)


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    BOCA RATON, Florida (AP) -- You won't have any grease seeping through your paper bag when you pull away from this drive-thru.

    The fries aren't fried, the chicken is farm-raised and the burgers are made of lean buffalo meat. For the more adventurous diners, there's tofu sandwiches, veggie pockets with soy cheese and one-ounce cups of wheat grass juice.

    The Healthy Bites Grill opened this summer about the same time a New York man sued four fast-food restaurants for making him fat and unhealthy. The restaurant, owned by Health Express USA, is hoping to capitalize on that bad publicity and target the more health-conscious among those who spend $100 billion annually on burgers, fried chicken and other fast-food nationwide.

    The restaurant is the 4-year-old company's second foray into the quick service industry, and its executives hope it serves as a model for franchises around the world. They've already fielded requests to open restaurants from Japan, Canada and Kuwait.

    "Eating healthy is for everyone and people everywhere are really starting to recognize that," said Susan Greenfield, a company founder and board member.

    Company executives said they wanted to create healthy fast-food with a gourmet flair. The restaurant has an upscale look with trendy lights, and benches, stools and tables that are the color of tomatoes, eggplants and zucchini.

    The average meal at Healthy Bites has a higher-end price, too. Sandwiches, burgers and wraps with a drink and a side dish cost between $6 and $9. And customers might have to wait a few minutes longer. Nothing, from the portobello mushroom and vegan pepperoni pocket to the tarragon chicken salad wrap, is pre-made and put under heat lamps to wait for customers' orders.

    CEO Doug Baker said people don't mind a short delay for the specialty cuisine.

    "We're like McDonald's on steroids ," he said.

    Ten-year-old Alexandria Sutton, a self-proclaimed expert on chicken strips, raved about her meal before heading off to swimming practice one recent afternoon. She didn't even notice that the breaded pieces of chicken were baked, instead of fried.

    "Their chicken fingers are a lot better than, like, all the other restaurants I've ever been to," she said.

    Alexandria's mom, Anne Sutton, said she could have stopped at McDonald's, Burger King or another, more traditional fast-food restaurant, but opted against it.

    "We were looking for something that might have a lighter meal," she said.

    Nutritionist Beth Ellen DiLuglio happened upon Healthy Bites a few weeks ago and has returned at least a dozen times. She said like most people, her clients are too busy to cook three meals, seven days a week, and now she can offer them a healthy alternative.

    "People are really starting to realize that nutrition is your best health insurance," she said. "What you eat and what you drink is going to have a direct effect on your health and on your children's health."

    The restaurant in glitzy Boca Raton already is pulling in almost four times as much business as Health Express' first restaurant in Oakland Park, about 20 miles to the south. Healthy Bites makes about $20,000 a month in gross sales. The company's stock sells under the symbol HEXS on Nasdaq's Over The Counter Bulletin Board.

    Company executives believe their sales reflect Americans' growing sense of the impact of the super-sized, fat-filled meals coming through most drive-thru windows. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that an estimated 61 percent of American adults are either overweight or obese and warn that the numbers are only increasing.

    Other fast-food restaurants have cashed in on the health-food craze. Subway proudly lists the nutritional contents for its subs on napkins and posters, and the chain created a new ad campaign last year revolving around Jared Fogle, who lost 245 pounds while eating Subway sandwiches for a year.

    "If you want to live a long life, you've got to stay away from the meats and grease," Baker said. "And that's exactly what we're doing here."

  2. #2
    King Samson's Avatar
    King Samson is offline Associate Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    6ft. away...but you can't
    It is about time. Hope they are as cheap as Mc D's.

  3. #3
    Big Rush's Avatar
    Big Rush is offline The Juice Man
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Damn, they stole my idea .......sounds like heaven to me

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    wonderful world of oz,where juice is free,plentiful,sterile, and not toxic to the liver
    I wonder where I can get some franchise info on that? If they are not offering franchises then stocks, here I come

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