The phrases “healthy fast food” and “corporate social responsibility” may seem like oxymorons. The Bronx-based venture 4Food is experimenting with both, however, by opening fast-food restaurants that vow to put nutrition in value menus and, in the words of Google, not be evil.
The concept opened its first eatery close to the new Yankee Stadium earlier this year, serving up burgers, nuggets, fries and other traditional fast-food fare, with 60 percent of its food coming from local farmers and slaughterhouses. 4Food now plans to open its second restaurant near Grand Central, leasing 2,800 square feet at APF Properties‘ 286 Madison Avenue.
The venture is also teaming up with IBM to use technology to further its commitment to social responsibility, creating a business strategy that scrutinizes everything from restaurants’ environmental impact to suppliers’ labor practices.
According to 4Food’s founder Adam Kidron, creating awareness of the interplay between balanced food consumption, environmental issues and local economic development is about more than social do-goodery—it’s also a viable business plan. “Consumers today want not just value but also values in their dining choices,” he said in a press release. “Our guests want to know that we adhere to the highest standards for the quality, safety and nutrition in the food we offer, our employment practices, the environment and the way we contribute to the economic progress and health of the community.”
4Food will employ in-store technology to allow customers to tailor orders from an extensive ingredients list—even naming their creations and storing them for future use.
Steve Soutendijk of Cushman & Wakefield brokered the deal.