America’s First Certified Organic Fast Food Chain Is Here — and It Pays $16 an Hour

May 29, 2016 | Complete Health and Happiness

As fast food chains like Jack in the Box and McDonald’s fight to stay afloat, a new fast food chain is challenging fundamental norms within the industry. Organic Coup is the first USDA-certified organic fast food chain in the country, offering previously unheard of healthy options and boasting formidable funding with ambitious plans to expand rapidly across the country.

Touting its organic certification, Organic Coup explains its standards, which “do not allow Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), toxic chemicals and pesticides, or the use of antibiotics or added hormones in livestock.”

Their small but savory menu reflects their approach. The two locations currently open for business, both located in Northern California, serve crispy chicken sandwiches fried in organic coconut oil and topped with spicy organic vegetables on an organic bun. The chicken is provided by the popular organic brand, Mary’s Chicken and also comes in wrap and bowl form. Organic Coup offers a variety of organic sauces, as well as chicken tenders on the side.

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For dessert, Organic Coup serves organic popcorn drizzled in organic chocolate and caramel (perhaps a more appealing option to health conscious consumers than McDonald’s recent addition of chocolate drizzled fries). They also plan to add organic tater tots and breakfast burritos to the menu.

Though the prices are higher than traditional fast food establishments — the chicken sandwich is $9.99 — Organic Coup focuses on quality rather than price point (it’s also worth noting a comparable crispy chicken sandwich at Chili’s, a popular, non-organic casual dining restaurant, is$8.79).

The company, which just secured funding to open two dozen new storefronts in the next year, openly describes its intention to revolutionize the fast food industry:

“A ‘coup’ is a takeover — and that’s our vision: an organic takeover of the fast food industry. Totally disruptive and bold,” they explain. “The Organic Coup represents a new day and a new attitude about fast food – fast food can be good food.

But Organic Coup also seeks to disrupt the fast food industry in another way.

“We believe in “Team Coup” (our employees) and we are investing in them with a livable wage that sets a new standard in fast food,” their website reads. While fast food employees across the country protest in favor of government-mandated higher wages, Organic Coup is setting its own standards.

As Business Insider recently reported, “Organic Coup is paying starting wages of $16 an hour in San Francisco and $14 an hour in Pleasanton. Fast-food workers in the US make $7.98 an hour on average, according to PayScale.”

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The new chain’s philosophy of using only organic ingredients and treating its employees well mirrors the approach of the company’s two core investors, who just provided $7 million in the first round of funding: Jim Sinegal, Costco’s founder and former CEO, and Richard Galanti, Costco’s Chief Financial Officer. Though Costco does not exclusively sell organic products, it recently expanded to provide abundant options to consumers; and with $4 billion in annual organic sales, the warehouse retailer has surpassed Whole Foods in profits. To accommodate the explosion in consumers’ desire for organic products, Costco has even begun lending moneyto organic farmers, who have found themselves struggling to keep up with demand.

Original Article

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