In April, US restaurant chain Buona launched a limited-edition Plant-Based Italian Beefless Sandwich. It wasn’t prepared for the response, which it described as “overwhelming” — the sandwich sold out in just a day across multiple locations.
Buona received extremely positive feedback about the offering, with many customers saying it was indistinguishable from the chain’s conventional beef sandwich. Following this success, Buona has decided to make the sandwich a permanent fixture on its menu. It will be available at all 26 locations across Illinois, Indiana, and Colorado.
The beef, which is made from Upton’s Naturals seitan, will also be offered at Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme, and Jewel-Osco Grocery Stores from November. It will be packaged similarly to Buona’s Original Italian Beef and can be used in the same way — it even comes with vegan gravy. According to Buona, the beef is produced in an area free of cross-contamination, so there is no risk of it containing traces of animal products.
“Our plan was to see if people loved the Plant-Based Italian “Beef” as much as we did – and the good news is that they loved it even more than we could have imagined,” said Candice Jordan, director of marketing with Buona. “The outstanding support of the vegan community really helped make this a permanent menu item. It has become one of our most popular menu items and that is really great to see.”