Amy’s Kitchen, known for its array of frozen meals that include many gluten-free products, recently opened Amy’s Drive Thru restaurant.
Located in Rohnert Park, California, right off the state’s famous Highway 101, it’s the company’s first foray into fast-food dining.
The drive-thru reflects the California company’s focus on vegetarian dishes made with organic ingredients and on increasing the number of gluten-free and dairy-free products.
Every item on the regular menu is available gluten free, and everything is vegetarian. Additionally 95 percent of the ingredients are organic, and all of the food and the packaging it’s in are non-GMO (genetically modified organisms). Vegan choices, some of which are naturally gluten free, are also available.
Menu options include veggie burgers, three types of cheese pizza, mac & cheese, salads, burritos, fries and shakes. But the drive-thru does not have a separate gluten-free menu, so customers will need to ask for a gluten-free meal when ordering.
To avoid cross-contamination by gluten-containing items, Amy’s stores and cooks gluten-free items separately. Separate utensils and mixing areas are used, and color coding on packages identifies gluten-free and vegan items.
The restaurant features a living roof, with native plants watered with rain collected in an on-site tower.
Its tables are made from reused auto brake drums, and other materials are also upcycled.
The company says its move into the fast food industry is a direct response to customer requests.
“People have been asking us to do this for years—to create a place where they can go when they’re too busy to cook but want something good for themselves or their family,” explains Rachel Berliner, who founded Amy’s Kitchen with her husband, Andy, in the late 1980s. They named the company after their daughter.
Fans of Amy’s may be wondering if the company has plans to open more drive-thru locations, but they will have to wait. The company is focusing on perfecting the restaurant before expanding.
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