Meet the Future: SoCal Fast Casual Gives Glimpse into what the Industry Can Be

Photo Crdit: QSRThe buzz has been consistent—thunderingly consistent. Not since Kogi BBQ has there been such excitement about a West Coast quick-service concept. But this one feels bigger to me; more important, more universal, less trendy, and at the tip of the innovation triangle. Like the iPad of food, Southern California restaurant Lemonade is where all the developments of the last decade have come together to form one world-beater of a product. Maybe I am overstating it, but I don’t think I am. I love Lemonade and I think it is the future of food.

Now that I have anointed it “the next big thing,” let’s take a step back to explain what it is. Lemonade was founded by chef Alan Jackson to “capture the L.A. spirit of adventure about food,” according to its website. The company bio goes on to state that Lemonade has “an appreciation of the freshest seasonal ingredients, and a desire to reinterpret familiar dishes with unexpected twists. The food is for people who care about what they eat. It’s clean, healthy, and inventive.” In layman’s terms, it is a modern take on a classic 1950s high-school cafeteria with fresh and simple food and drinks. It has 13 locations in Southern California and shows no signs of slowing down its expansion. The recipes and design have established something that is completely original and of the moment without being pretentious or trendy. READ MORE