Vegetarians, vegans and anyone looking to cut back on meat have yet another great reason to visit California Tortilla this fall. The fast-growing Mexican food franchise has added tofu as a limited-time protein option at all of its 40+ locations, available from October 19 until January 17.

Thanks to an array of mouth-watering grilled vegetables and other non-meat proteins, California Tortilla has long been a preferred destination for those looking to avoid the decidedly meat-oriented menus at most quick-service restaurant brands. The introduction of tofu gives diners another healthy and delicious option so they can customize their meals to their liking.

“We have always had a very vegan- and vegetarian-friendly menu, but the industry is seeing a huge push for additional non-meat protein options, and that’s something we’re really excited to accommodate,” says California Tortilla COO and Executive Chef Keith Goldman.

California Tortilla tested a variety of faux-meat products before settling on tofu, which Goldman says aligns best with the brand’s mission of providing only “fresh, clean food that tastes great.”

“We tried and tested all the popular plant-based fake meat products on the market and concluded that none of them met our standards,” Goldman adds. “Many of the trendy plant-based products on the market are highly manufactured and processed — they don’t taste great, and they can make your stomach feel heavy after eating.”

California Tortilla’s tofu is organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, kosher, and of course, vegan. Best of all, Goldman says even the meat-eaters who tested the item said they would consider ordering it instead of meat.

“We have developed a tofu recipe that is so delicious, clean and healthy, I think it’s going to appeal to everyone, not just our vegan and vegetarian guests,” he says.

California Tortilla’s tofu option is available now at participating locations in all markets, but only until January 17. After that, Goldman says he hopes demand for the item will secure it a more permanent role in the menu.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve our menu and make it more accessible to people with a range of dietary preferences,” Goldman says. “Our tofu option is an amazing showcase for our delicious flavors and commitment to authentic, clean, healthy food. We know that our customers are going to love it.”

Fast Casual, Menu Innovations, News, California Tortilla