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First Chain Restaurant to Earn Healthy Restaurant Certificate

By July 6, 2018January 3rd, 2020No Comments


For Information, contact: Jessie Arnold, (704) 412-4506 x110 or

First Chain Restaurant to Earn Healthy Restaurant Certificate

Florida-based Taco Rico now Participating in PlantPure Communities Restaurant Campaign

July 5, 2018 – The nonprofit PlantPure Communities (PPC) today announced the first chain restaurant that is participating in the PlantPure Communities Restaurant Campaign. Taco Rico Tex-Mex Cafe, which has 6 outlets in southeast Florida, has been providing fresh homemade Tex Mex cuisine, laid-back family atmosphere, and personalized attention since their first opening in 1992. The PPC Restaurant Campaign, which is driven by the 75,000+ people participating in the PPC Pod Network, supports the growing demand of health conscious diners seeking plant based, oil-free menu options when dining out around the country.  

To date, 44 restaurants in 13 states are participating in the PPC Restaurant Campaign. “With the addition of the Taco Rico outlets, the Restaurant Campaign is really gaining traction, as more restaurants are aligning their menus to connect with the country’s eating trends,” said Jody Kass, PPC Executive Director. “Offering plant based, oil-free dishes to customers is simply good for business,” she said.

All six locations of Taco Rico Tex-Mex Cafe are now serving a vegan fajita salad, and several other dishes that can be 

prepared oil-free upon request. “From a business standpoint, the portion of the population that is trying to stay healthy by 

cutting out animal products is expanding rapidly. We have always been an organization that promotes fresh, from scratch cooking daily, using low amounts of oil and salt. So expanding the menu with plant-based, oil-free options was an obvious next step. From a personal perspective, I love growing all my own vegetables organically, so offering healthy options is part of who I am,” said Leland Neal, CEO, Taco Rico franchising.

Nelson Campbell, founder and Board Chair of PlantPure Communities said, “We are confident that Taco Rico is the first of many chain restaurants to join the Campaign, as this movement is not slowing down.” According to the report, Top Trends in Prepared Foods, 70% of adults say the availability of healthy menu options would make them choose one restaurant over another. Not only are America’s food tastes changing but restaurants are discovering that serving plant-based menu items helps their bottom line.

According to the National Restaurant Association, as more consumers follow vegetarian and vegan diets, restaurants are expanding the complex, inventive veggie-centric items on their menus. Customers are eating more simply and healthfully when dining out. 

They want menu items made with high-quality greens, grains and proteins, among other things. Restaurants who cater to their needs win their loyalty and business.  “The restaurant industry is changing – because American consumers are changing. More people are waking up every day to the realization that they can take control of their health and reverse their heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illness – just by changing what is on the end of their fork. 

While restaurant industry trends are always evolving, healthy plant-based dishes are here to stay!” said Nelson Campbell. The menu at Taco Rico attracted the leaders of the Earth Save Miami Pod, Jeffrey Tucker and Estela Windwalker, who worked with Taco Rico to add oil-free options to their menu. According to Jeffrey, “EarthSavePOD (South Florida and growing) is committed to the PlantPure vision of Nelson Campbell. After 22 years, 400 community food events and 20,000 fed, we focus on food’s role in the Healthy Vegan Lifestyle, thence ‘Saving the Earth One Bite and One Byte at a Time. Approximately 6,000 EarthSavers support PlantPure Communities, whose inspiring grassroots projects align perfectly with our Mission.”

For more information about the PlantPure Communities Restaurant Campaign please visit the PPC Restaurant Campaign webpage.

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