Fast food doesn’t exactly have the best reputation when it comes to being healthy, nutritious, or high quality. However, that might be set to change: According to Eater SF, Pleasanton, CA is now home to the country’s first USDA-certified organic fast-food restaurant. To achieve that certification, the restaurant—which is called The Organic Coup—had to prove that “95 percent or more of its ingredients come from certified organic growers and farmers.” The name is a reference to a chicken “coop” and also indicates a “coup” on the standard fast-food system.


Founded by Erica Welton, who was once a food buyer for bulk store giant Costco, the restaurant’s menu is centered around its fried chicken. According to the Organic Coup’s website, the chicken breast—which is fried in organic coconut oil, of course—is served as a sandwich, a wrap, or as a salad bowl. Currently, there’s only one side option, organic popcorn, and drinks like organic soda and lemonade.

Welton tells Eater SF that she founded the restaurant “after being frustrated by the lack of ‘clean’” options for lunch. Her plans for expansion are ambitious: Welton is aiming to open 25 locations of the chicken restaurant in the next 14 months. The next store to open will be located in San Francisco.


The Organic Coup is right on trend. Not only are fast casual chicken sandwiches having a moment—Shake Shack recently added one to its menu, and chef David Chang opened an entire chicken sandwich concept called Fuku—but fast-food restaurants are working to become healthier.

McDonald’s, which doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to wholesome ingredients, recently announced that plans to switch to cage-free eggs and it launched its first-ever organic burger at McD’s locations in Germany. McDonald’s also recently pledged to transition to “sustainable” beef across all of its restaurants in 2016.

Loco’l, an upcoming fast-food chain from chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson, is also aiming to revolutionize the industry by offering high-quality, thoughtful meals at price points similar to big chains like McDonald’s and Burger King.

[via Eater SF]