Updated April 15, 2019. The “new new” vegan Impossible Burger Slider is now being offered at all 377 White Castle restaurants across the country, the chain announced today.
The new patty, made by Bay Area startup Impossible Foods, is gluten-free and holds up better in restaurant preparations, according to the company.
Fast Food Goes Vegan
White Castle was among the first fast-food chains to offer the vegan burger when it launched in select restaurants in the New York metro and Chicagoland areas.
White Castle vice president Jamie Richardson said that some restaurants were selling as many as 300 sliders per day during the trial period last summer. “At this point of the test, we’re seeing encouraging signs that this is a good idea that has a lot of potential. What we’re really pleased with so far is that the enthusiasm has remained pretty constant. This illustrates that we’re not just getting first-time purchasers.”
Enter the Wu-Tang Clan
The chain soon rolled out the sliders to all locations, with clever marketing juice behind it to boot. A popular ad campaign featured members of the Wu-Tang Clan available on a pre-recorded phone message customers could dial into for some inspiration while waiting for their Impossible sliders. Actor Kal Penn of “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle” fame was also featured. He’s also recently become an investor in the vegan burger company.
The Wu-Tang series was so popular that it was recently selected by the Tribeca Film Festival as a finalist for its Tribeca X award. The festival kicks off on April 24th.
Fast Food Goes Impossible
While the first large fast-food chain to do the Impossible, White Castle is by no means the last. The vegan Impossible Burger is now also available at more than 500 Red Robin locations. And earlier this week, leading fast-food burger chain Burger King played an April Fool’s joke on some of its customers. The chain is now trialing the Impossible Whopper in select St. Louis, Missouri, locations, but on April 1st it offered the burgers to customers without mentioning the patties were vegan. The customers caught on film all claimed they were unable to tell the difference.
Excited by the surge in availability of vegan burgers that taste like beef, Inc. Magazine writer Peter Economy recently put the Impossible Burger to the test after tracking down a nearby location of an unspecified restaurant that serves the burger.
“I placed my order: an Impossible Burger on a bun with lettuce, tomato, and grilled onions. About 7 minutes later, my burger arrived and I took a moment to admire it. It looked like a burger, smelled like a burger, and felt like a burger while I eagerly held it in my hands. As my salivary glands kicked into overdrive, and dove in,” he writes.
“If this is the future of fast food, then count me in.”