The CEO of Fox Restaurant Concepts plans to open an upscale fast-casual concept based on what he has learned from True Food Kitchen chain, the company's health-oriented casual-dining concept.
Flower Child: A Food Revolution is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2014 near Fox’s headquarters in Phoenix.
Watch Sam Fox discuss Flower Child
Sam Fox, chief executive and founder of Fox Restaurant Concepts, said at the opening of the seventh True Foods Kitchen unit in Dallas Tuesday that he sees Flower Child as a relative — but not a pure extension — of True Food.
“I see this as a second cousin,” Fox said. “It’s a little further removed from True Food. We’re not taking True Food and making it into a fast-casual environment. What we’re taking is the knowledge that we’ve learned within the brand and what works with our guests.”
Fox said Flower Child’s $1.4 million debut unit will occupy 3,600 square feet. The check average is expected to be around $13 to $14 for lunch and $17 for dinner — higher than most fast-casual restaurants. It will also serve beer and wine.
“In the spirit of what we do at True Food and in the spirit of what we’ve learned over the years with this brand and talking with our guests and employees, we really feel like there’s a need for a healthy fast-casual done a little bit better,” Fox said.
Flower Child will feature ingredients like grass-fed beef, wild-caught salmon, organic turkey and vegetables, and a menu of salads, hot pots and lavash sandwiches. Many items will be gluten free and available to go, Fox said.
The menu will also avoid genetically modified organisms, he added, as well as fruits and vegetables that rank the high in pesticides — identified as the “Dirty Dozen” by the Environmental Working Group advocacy organization — including non-organic apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries and sweet bell peppers.
The service model will be counter-order with table delivery, Fox said.
“We have a concept called Sauce [Pizza & Wine], and this is kind of the same business model,” he said.
Healthful brands have been part of Fox Restaurant Concepts’ growth plans, Fox said, and the company has been pushing further into the segment. It recently opened a pressed-juice concept called Juby True, which stands for “Juice by True,” attached to the back of its True Food Kitchen location in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“We wanted to get in other businesses along the way that have the philosophies that we believe in,” he said, adding, “Our goal is to shake up the fast-food, fast-casual business.”
Fox Restaurant Concepts’ 14 brands include Blanco Tacos + Tequila, North Italia, Sauce Pizza & Wine, Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar, Culinary Dropout, The Arrogant Butcher, Wildflower American Cuisine, Olive & Ivy Restaurant, The Greene House, A Legend Is Here, The Henry and The Rocket pizza food truck.