Lettuce Entertain You and Grubhub are partnering on a virtual restaurant, Whole30 Delivered, which will deliver healthy food consistent with the popular diet that forbids processed foods and chemical additives.
The Whole30 menu is available to order for lunch and dinner and will rotate seasonally. Items include Thai chicken-coconut-curry soup, Buffalo chicken salad, spaghetti squash with chicken meatballs and roasted chicken tikka masala. Entrees will run $13.95 to $22.95.
Virtual restaurants only offer online ordering and delivery, eschewing a traditional dining room to lower overhead and provide more flexibility to chefs. Both Lettuce and Grubhub see the concept growing in popularity and believe it to be ripe for expansion in other markets outside traditional large cities.
“We are thrilled to be working with two great organizations, Whole30 and Grubhub, in putting together what we think is a very different delivery-only concept,” R.J. Melman, president of LEYE, said in a statement. “We think Whole30 is a great step forward for delivery-only kitchens.”
Grubhub president Adam DeWitt said the trend is growing because real estate in some cities is a big detriment to starting a restaurant. “One of the biggest costs in opening a restaurant is designing and building out the infrastructure for the seating. The virtual concept eliminates that,” DeWitt said. The virtual option allows chefs to build kitchen-only businesses in cheaper locations and chefs with existing capacity to increase volume.
Lettuce, known for casual restaurants like M Burger and R.J. Grunts and higher-end spots like its RPM-branded restaurants, sees virtual restaurants as an important area to explore.
“We are open to expanding into other markets if successful,” said Scott Barton, executive partner and divisional president at Lettuce.
Whole30 Delivered has the potential to raise awareness of the Whole30 concept, because with more than 130 restaurants nationwide, Lettuce is one of the largest restaurant groups in the country. And with Grubhub reaching 20 million diners through its delivery app, millions of people will now be able to try it out.
“While we love teaching participants how to cook Whole30 meals at home, it’s a game-changer to have accessible, compliant, fast options for busy days,” Melissa Urban, co-founder and CEO of Whole30, said in a statement.