In USA Veganism is now seen as a movement. This is evident by the number of people now choosing to substitute meat with plant-based alternatives, and the fact that there are more than 200 startups dedicated to developing plant-based versions of consumer favorites. In the USA Meat consumption is declining as people try to stay healthy. There is a rise in the number of Vegetarians and Vegans. In 2008, there were 5 million people who identified as vegetarians, but by 2014 that number had grown to 22 million.
Despite this trend toward plant-based options, CARLS JR has been unable to capitalize on this growing market. But with the introduction of the Beyond Burger into their menu, they are now making strides towards becoming one of the most popular places to eat for Vegetarians.
Carls Jr, a west coast food franchise seems to have taken note. With a focus on traditional American fast food, they have recently announced that they plan to test alternative plant-based meats in 5 of their biggest markets over the next year. Most notable are Phoenix and Dallas.
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Founded in Dallas, TX in 1941 by the eponymous Carl Karcher. He was employed by local restaurant chain Del Taco when he convinced his employer to allow him to open a hot dog cart at one of their locations. By 1945, Karcher opened his first franchise in Anaheim, CA. Over time, CARLS JR grew from a local hot dog cart servicing a single location to a national chain serving a full lunch and dinner menu. CARLS JR’s current focus is on providing the healthiest food possible while minimizing their carbon footprint by using renewable sources of energy, reducing waste generated, and disseminating information about the environment to their customers.
Their vision is to provide healthy and convenient fast food for all customers, to minimize their carbon footprint by using renewable sources of energy and reducing waste, and disseminating information about the environment to customers.
CARLS JR is aiming to create a sustainable business model that doesn’t rely on animals as ingredients; instead, CARLS JR will offer 100% plant-based alternatives to meat.
Increase franchisee engagement about the health and environmental impact of their food choices. Provide menu items that meet current “healthier menu” trends, while providing superior taste to competing products. Deliver said healthier menu choices more affordably than the high prices required by other quickly growing vegan chains like Shake Shack.
Expand presence to 100 cities throughout the USA, serving over 5 million customers; Develop 35 new food items; Franchise 80 new CARLS JR locations (currently at 760+ restaurants company-wide).
Everything Vegan At Carls Jr
CARLS JR will change their entire menu to include vegan-only options. All items on the current menu will be removed and replaced with 100% plant-based alternatives, including:
Nutritional information for these items will be uploaded to the CARLS JR website, except for new menu items that are still in development. 100% plant-based menus at ALL CARLS JR LOCATIONS. CARLS JR will offer any food item on their menu in a vegan-friendly version. Except for breakfast items, all items on the current menu will be removed and replaced with 100% plant-based alternatives.
Vegan Sides at Carls Jr:
- French Fries
- Criss-cut Waffle Fries
- Hash browns
- Cilantro-lime rice
- Pinto Beans (specify no cheese)
- Side salad (without cheese, croutons, or any dressing that is not Low-Fat Balsamic)
Vegan Bread/Buns at Carls Jr:
- Flour Tortilla
- Seeded Bun
- Plain Bun
Keep Reading: 20+ Vegan Options At First Watch Cafe 
Frequently Asked questions
Is Carls Jr completely vegan?
A: Unfortunately, the only thing that is completely vegan at Carls Jr is the fries. Everything else has cheese or some other animal-derived ingredient in it.
What beverages do you have?
A: CARLS JR currently offers three different types of Soy Milk (Vanilla, Chocolate, Unsweetened), three types of unsweetened iced tea (Regular, Blackberry Mint, and Raspberry), two types of lemonade (Passionfruit & Strawberry-Lemonade), an assortment of soft drinks, and different fruit-based juices including Apple, Cranberry Grapefruit, Orange Pineapple, Fruit Punch.
Are hot dogs vegan at CARLS JR?
A: We do not currently have any vegan hot dogs at CARLS JR. The links contain milk products and the buns contain both milk and eggs (which makes them non-vegan).
The future looks bright for veganism in general, especially at Carl’s Jr., where during their 2018 annual report they stated that they expect their no-meat burgers to account for as much as 40% of the menu by 2020. They also recently announced a new venture with Beyond Meat, which is an important step in making sure that more and more people can enjoy their meals without harming animals.
But there’s more to be done! With veganism growing, Carl’s Jr. must work even harder to keep up with the market trends. If CARLS JR can balance flavor with health and environmental friendliness, they will be poised to dominate the fast-food industry with their “healthy” meat-like alternatives.
It is the global leader in delivering beef alternatives that are healthy and convenient for customers while minimizing their carbon footprint by using renewable sources of energy and reducing waste. CARLS JR aims to deliver said healthier menu choices more affordably than the high prices required by other quickly growing vegan chains like Shake Shack. If CARLS JR can balance flavor with health and environmental friendliness, they are poised to dominate the fast-food industry with their “healthy” meat-like alternatives.