Yesterday, Chicago beef chain Buona announced the launch of the Plant-Based Italian Beefless Sandwich, made in collaboration with Upton’s Naturals, at all 24 Buona locations in Chicago and Indiana. The business now reveals that it sold out of the vegan option in one day across multiple locations due to “extremely high demand”, using 1,800lbs of seitan in the process.
Buono is reassuring customers that it is working hard to restock its restaurants as soon as possible. Its social media post today reads: “Wow. We can’t believe the amount of support and kind words we’ve received over the last couple of days about our new sandwich. Due to extremely high demand for our Plant-Based Italian Beefless Sandwich, we have SOLD OUT of the sandwiches at multiple locations. We will be working hard to get more of the product in our restaurants as soon as possible! Thank you to all of our loyal (and new!) customers across the Chicagoland area that have made this possible.”
Buona opted to collaborate with popular Chicago-based seitan specialist Upton’s Naturals to produce the seitan-based beef for the sandwich with Buona’s Italian recipe. Nicole Sopko, Vice President of Upton’s Naturals is the president of the board of directors at the Plant-Based Foods Association.
“When vegans go out to eat, they crave the same variety and savory meal options as anyone, just without the meat to go with it,” said Upton’s Naturals founder Dan Staackmann. “There’s so much opportunity to serve the community of people embracing a plant-based diet, which stretches far beyond having a vegan burger on the menu. The Buona Beef family understands that, and with our slices of seitan, we’re so happy to be able to support them bringing a 100% vegan take on the traditional Italian beef sandwich to Chicago.”
“While Buona is known for our Original Italian Beef, we wanted to expand our plant-based menu options to serve the growing number of vegans and vegetarians who join their families at our restaurants. We wanted something that felt true to our establishments, menu offering and family recipes, which is why we decided to use our signature dish as inspiration,” commented Candice Jordan, director of marketing with Buona.
“We all felt Upton’s Naturals was the best fit as a partner. We wanted the sandwich to be all natural like our original Buona Beef and being local was the gravy on top. We’re excited to be one of the first multi- unit restaurants able to offer an authentic plant-based Italian ‘beefless’ sandwich.”