A Texan restaurant concept is lining up for a crack at the startup lottery: Project Pollo, the buzzy fast-casual vegan chick'n chain from San Antonio, will be featured on Shark Tank, the ABC reality show where entrepreneurs pitch their business idea to the deep-pocketed "sharks" in the hopes of luring investment startup funds.
According to a release, Project Pollo CEO & founder Lucas Bradbury will appear solo on the episode on May 20 at 7 pm. It's also the series' season finale.
"We were beyond excited when we received the opportunity to film for the show and to receive valuable feedback from such a talented group of sharks!" Bradbury says in a statement. "Project Pollo is here to show the world that the future of mass consumption is plant-based."
Bradbury founded Project Pollo in 2020 as a concept that's just like a fast-food chicken restaurant in every way except the menu is entirely vegan.
The menu features vegan chicken sandwiches, wraps, and strips, plus sides including crispy papas, aka french fries, smothered in cashew queso, and mac & cheese, which you can get plain or topped with chicken nuggets.
They also have indulgent burgers and decadent milkshakes.
Project Pollo is out to change the face of the fast-food industry by offering affordable, delicious, convenient access to high-quality plant-based options for everyone from vegans to curious carnivores.
They currently have 11 locations across San Antonio, Austin, Houston, and Dallas, some with drive-thrus. And 2022 is shaping up to be a busy year: They opened a location in Dallas on Greenville Avenue in February, and another in Round Rock in April, with more locations coming this summer including San Marcos, Corpus Christi, and two more locations in Austin.
At this rate, their goal of having 100 stores open by 2024 seems more than viable.
In addition to its plant-based mission, Project Pollo also emphasizes fair wages, people over profit, and sustainability, which is something a lot of restaurants talk about but that Project Pollo actually does, using paper-based packaging and compostable utensils.
While the release does not reveal the outcome of the show, the odds seem high that the concept might attract interest from Shark Tank star Mark Cuban, who himself follows a vegetarian diet and has made numerous investments in vegan brands such as Everything Legendary vegan burgers; Numilk, a machine that creates plant-based milks; and Mrs. Goldfarb's Unreal Deli vegan deli meats.