Kimbal Musk backs a restaurant chain that charges lower prices in poor neighborhoods

  • Investors including Kimbal Musk, Acumen and TOMS Social Enterprise fund are pouring $5.3 million into Everytable, a health-minded fast casual restaurant .
  • Everytable charges customers $5 or $8 for meals that are free from fried ingredients, artificial colors and flavorings
  • Customers in low-income neighborhoods pay a lower price than customers in high-income neighborhoods.
Everytable
Source: Everytable

Dissatisfied with fast-food menu options, and higher prices at health-minded restaurant chains, Everytable CEO Sam Polk embarked on a mission to make nutritious meals convenient and affordable for all.

Founded in 2015, Everytable has established a Los Angeles beachhead with five restaurants in the area. It serves up meals made from whole ingredients that are never fried, and are free of artificial flavorings and colors. The meals cost $5 or $8 dollars, with customers in high-income neighborhoods paying the slightly elevated price. Now the company has landed a $5.3 million investment from a group of big-name investors, including Kimbal Musk, brother of Tesla CEO Elon and an entrepreneur in his own right.

Polk explained:

“There is an explosion of demand for healthy food across the country being met by some incredible fast casual brands like SweetGreen, DigIn and others. Those are healthy meals at twelve to fifteen bucks. But if your budget drops to a five to eight dollar price point, there are only two quasi-healthy players, Chipotle and Subway. They are like 90s definition of health.”

Everytable in Los Angeles.
Courtesy Everytable Pbc
Everytable in Los Angeles.

The CEO believes that Everytable, which is a public benefit corporation, can one day achieve the scale of huge food franchises like McDonald’s or Taco Bell, but with a focus on accessible nutrition.

In order to sell healthful foods for relatively low prices, Polk said that Everytable has to leverage software and data analytics at every turn. It tracks data about which meals it sold and where, obsessively, to be able to forecast demand and avoid wasting food.

Instead of housing a commercial kitchen at each location, Everytable sends prepared meals out from a central kitchen to its smaller storefronts. That allows the company to spend less on real estate, and more on ingredients and labor.

To keep track of how well they’re doing, Everytable restaurants each feature a digital mood-measuring kiosk. Customers are asked to tap a smiley or frowny face on a screen to give feedback on the spot.

Apart from Kimbal Musk, investors include social impact investors Acumen, Maria Shriver and TOMS Social Enterprise Fund, among others. Its newly raised venture funds should help Everytable grow in and beyond Los Angeles, Polk said.

Acumen’s Markeze Bryant said: “Everything this company does is about delivering a product to the consumer on the most efficient basis. So even though it’s a food business with a social mission we see it as a tech company. There's a lot of innovation around ordering, forecasting, pricing and everything else it takes to deliver savings, and ultimately good health, to the customers.”