Retail

Kimbal Musk Debuts Fast Casual Restaurants

The desire to eat healthy regularly is often outweighed by the proximity to quick and inexpensive food options. Kimbal Musk, Elon’s brother, has a deep understanding of this desire, which is why he’s been at the forefront of healthy food for the past six years. Starting in 2011, the ex-Silicon Valley entrepreneur launched a nonprofit organization called Learning Gardens. Starting from the root of where eating habits are formed, Musk installed these gardens in 300 schools to help educate young children about the value of nutrition and healthy eating.

To bring the concept of truly healthy eating mainstream, Musk decided to focus on how to best provide a fast and cheap food service that at its core was health-based. Just over 10 years ago, Musk opened up two restaurant options to accomplish this: the Kitchen, an upscale dining experience, and Next Door, which has a more laid-back experience. Both of these restaurants source their food from what local farmers are already growing, which changes the menu depending upon the location. Given that Next Door has more affordable options for the average American, Musk has now decided to expand the chain to cities nationwide.

By 2020, Musk plans to open 50 new Next Door locations. The main goal of this rapid expansion is to ensure there are healthy, affordable options for the up-and-coming millennial generation.

“We don’t have that many gathering places that are affordable for the younger generation. They don’t really resonate with the existing players like TGI Fridays and Applebee’s,” he said. “We found a really powerful niche where we create the gathering place, people break bread with their friends in the restaurant, and if they want, they can take that food home.”

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