Which Fast-Food Chains are Embracing the Food Revolution?
We ranked the Top 50 US fast-food chains on their efforts to promote more planet- and animal-friendly plant-based dining. Here’s how they stack up.
Food businesses around the world have been investing in protein diversification to meet the demand of diners who are seeking individual meals or whole dietary changes that align with their core values, including better health, animal welfare, and sustainability. This growth in demand for plant-based proteins has benefitted businesses with an increase in foot traffic, sales, new customer acquisition, and returning lapsed customers — all while lowering ingredient costs and providing valuable differentiation among stiff competition.
But where are your favorite US fast and fast-casual food chains fitting into this food revolution?
World Animal Protection’s analysis of the current menus and most recent sustainability reports from the top 50 US chains shows the vast majority (39 out of 50) are failing to embrace the plant-based movement, despite the many benefits it would bring to their business, their customers, the planet, and, of course, farmed animals.
While most chains received the lowest ranking in the scorecard, a few leaders emerged that may (or may not) surprise you.
Starbucks, Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, Burger King, Chipotle, and Panera all received top marks in the report for serving one or more plant-based items, discussing the benefits of increasing plant-based protein for achieving their broader sustainability goals, and committing to increase their efforts over time.
KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell are all working towards parent company Yum! Brands’ commitment to reduce emissions through continued expansion of plant-based protein and fewer animals raised for food. Similarly, Starbucks recognizes a global plant-based menu as one way of achieving the company’s carbon reduction goal.
Several of their prominent competitors – such as McDonald’s, Dunkin’, and Domino’s – fell into the lower rankings for little to no action on diversifying their menus and incorporating innovative plant-based items.
With the Moving the Menu report, World Animal Protection hopes to empower diners to choose those restaurants that are aligning with their values by protecting animals, the planet, and public health, and demand better from the many companies continuing to drag their feet.
Reducing overconsumption and production of animal protein is critical for mitigating climate change and meeting global climate goals. Learn more about how you can make a difference with our Meating Halfway challenge. Meating Halfway is our custom 21-day journey that will help guide you towards eating less meat with recipes, tips from experts, and discounts on products.
Company Rankings Overview
5 Stars - Diversified protein options, benefits highlighted in reporting, strong commitment
4 Stars - Diversified protein options, moving along
3 Stars - Making progress, more is needed
2 Stars - Lacking nationwide meatless options, failing to make progress
1 Star - Not meeting expectations when it comes to plant-based options
and committing to meat reduction