Industry News | June 17, 2011

LYFE Kitchen Breaks Ground on First Location

LYFE Kitchen, a transformational, socially-responsible ‘LYFE-style’ brand, hosted the first-ever “Fork Lifting” event to break ground on LYFE’s first restaurant.

Surrounded by celebrity Chefs Art Smith and Tal Ronnen, Olympian Janet Evans, and Doctors Anthony Cardillo and Armand Dorian, LYFE Kitchen founder Stephen Sidwell joined CEO Mike Roberts in lifting ceremonial forks to taste LYFE’s food outside the Palo Alto location.

“Today we lift our forks to answer America’s most significant unmet need—providing great-tasting, good-for-you food that is affordable and convenient,” Roberts says. “We aim to create a new category—the ‘LYFE-style’ restaurant—that stands apart from all others. Our approach is simple. We ask Americans to ‘love your food every day.’ ”

Opening in late summer 2011, LYFE will showcase food that is natural, preservative- and additive-free, enhanced with spices, herbs, and other natural ingredients. No dish contains more than 600 calories and most offer less. Chef Art Smith helped to design the menu with thoughtful options for everyone, including his popular Unfried Chicken, while Chef Ronnen, LYFE’s chef consultant for plant-based and vegetarian foods, offers options such as his Ancient Grains Bowl.

“LYFE is more than a restaurant. It is a ‘LYFE-style.’ We have a saying that permeates every aspect of our brand: Eat Good. Feel Good. Do Good,” Sidwell says. “Our team and the nature of the concept helps you to eat well, while the menu and design of the restaurant helps you to feel good. And, of course, our sense of shared social responsibility, alongside you, encourages us all to do good.”

Sidwell, an entrepreneur for the last 18 years, is CEO of Devante Capital, having worked extensively in the branded foodservice industry.

In lifting the ceremonial forks, the team assembled LYFE Ambassadors for the first time, including:

      Executive Chef Art Smith – Smith is a chef, restaurateur, author, TV personality, philanthropist, two-time James Beard Award winner, and the former personal chef to Oprah Winfrey for 10 years.

      Chef Consultant Tal Ronnen – Ronnen is known for his ground-breaking plant-based culinary expertise. He received nationwide acclaim as Oprah Winfrey’s chef during her 21-day vegetarian and vegan diet exploration. He then catered Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s wedding and prepared the first vegan dinner at the U.S. Senate. Ronnen is currently executive chef at Garden Protein International.

      LYFE Health and Wellness Panel, Dr. Anthony Cardillo and Dr. Armand Dorian – Cardillo and Dorian are the ambassadors for LYFE’s Health and Wellness Panel, believing in the importance of balancing all aspects of one’s ‘LYFE-style.’ Cordillo and Dorian have been medical consultants in the entertainment industry.

     Global Animal Partnership – The welfare of farm animals is core to LYFE’s mission, which is why the restaurant has partnered with Global Animal Partnership, a nonprofit organization that has brought together expert leadership from many sectors concerned about animals in agriculture—retailers, farmers, scientists, ranchers, and four of the world’s largest animal advocacy groups. To date, Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Ratings Standards program includes chickens, pigs, and beef cattle, and LYFE will be the first restaurant chain that has committed to being 100 percent 5-step rated for those products.

      Synergy Restaurant Consultants – Synergy was handpicked by Roberts and his team to help bring LYFE Kitchen to life by collaborating with celebrity chefs and principles to build the organizational and operational infrastructure needed to roll out the brand. Synergy managing partners Dean Small and Danny Bendas played an integral role in developing operational strategies and creating ‘best practices,’ while the Synergy design team captured the vision by designing a look that supports LYFE’s transformational guest experience.