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Local Vegan Eatery Project Pollo Takes on Shark Tank

San Antonio-based Project Pollo, which is on the mission to revolutionize fast-food chicken restaurants with plant-based alternatives, recently took on the sharks in the 13th season of ABC's "Shark Tank." 

Before we go even further - shameless plug alert - Project Pollo features Southern Roots sugar and chocolate cookies in their oat milk shakes!

Now back to the news! Of course the sharks were loving Project Pollo's food and shark Kevin O'Leary said, “I’ve tried a lot of fake chicken. ... This is the best I’ve had," after tasting the Deluxe Chicken Sandwich, buffalo macaroni and cheese and plant-based nuggets.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban commented that he thought that vegan fast food would be a fad because many consumers are looking for healthier alternatives such as plant-based options. However even big restaurants are racing to add vegan and plant-based options to their menus since the vegan/plant-based food category could be worth more than $160 billion globally within the next 10 years, according to Business Insider

Many of the consumers driving the increase are not vegans - basically people concerned about lowering their consumption of meat. Also many plant-based vegans will tell you, a juicy Project Pollo Chicken Deluxe Sandwich is a nice break from eating grains all week. 

Project Pollo didn't get a deal because the sharks thought the valuation of the company was too high. VegNews reported:

"Before arriving on set, the founder had only one goal for his time with the sharks: act in the best interest of Project Pollo. 'We were very open and receptive to partnering [with a shark], but we also knew going onto the show that we wouldn’t undervalue the business. Sharks can be very beneficial […] but I knew we wouldn’t sell ourselves short,' he said. And the founder stuck to his guns, despite the sharks criticizing his $2.5 million proposal in exchange for five percent ownership."

Currently Project Pollo has 12 locations in Texas and another eight soon to open including in Las Vegas, Tempe, Ariz. and Boulder, Co.

While Project Pollo didn't partner with a shark, the restaurant's CEO & Founder Lucas Bradbury was able to share his story that many hard-working families can relate to. His mom was an elementary school cook and his dad was a bus driver. To make money for college, he delivered pizza and quickly climbed his way in the fast-food business and helped a plant-based company in San Antonio grow, which led to him getting the concept for a Project Pollo food truck. That truck turned into America's first vegan chicken fast-food chain. 

Congrats to Project Pollo for shining a light on tasty vegan food and convincing meat lovers there are alternatives to eating meat everyday. Check out Project Pollo's menu here

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