Stubborn Restaurant Chain Refuses to Sell Vegan Burger Without Dairy

The Beyond Burger, in its Vegan Lite version. Photo: beyondmeat/Instagram

Luna Grill is a fast-casual chain based in California. Even if you don’t know the name, you should know that they’ve pioneered a new way of serving the high-tech Beyond Burger: With tons of dairy, just like any other non-vegan sandwich. The extremely trendy meat alternative debuted this week at 43 Luna Grill locations, and the $10.75 sandwich comes with the obligatory bun, grilled onions, lettuce, and tomato, but for some reason also includes an extraneous heaping helping of “spicy feta.” The burger is also cooked in butter.

As you might expect, the decision to prepare the Beyond Burger with a variety of animal products isn’t a hit with vegans. Maybe you’re tempted to argue that perhaps Beyond Meat’s “bleeding” plant patty is so incredibly meatlike that Luna Grill doesn’t even realize its new product is vegan, but, no, the good folks at Luna are fully aware of the patty’s deal.

As a Twitter user in San Diego noticed, the in-store ad carries this disclaimer: “Not able to prepare vegan style.” She asked why and was basically told by the workers that, um, they just don’t really want to?

Little did Luna know, it was messing with someone whose Twitter handle is @veganpolice:

It might cause problems, since a number of vegan accounts have helped spread the word about the burger’s launch — apparently unaware that this buttery, cheesy burger may not actually be appropriate for vegans to eat:

Luna may see some more disgruntled customers in the very near future.

Update, April 5, 2018, 3:50 p.m.: A Luna Grill rep reached out to clarify that customers are free to request cheeseless vegan burgers, but that the burger is nevertheless “prepared on the same grill we use for our other menu items, which means it might come in contact with animal products.” It will therefore “not be truly 100 percent vegan.”

The rep adds that they “respect what it means to label something vegan,” and their sign’s fine print is an attempt to be “fully transparent with our guests.”