The Food Institute: The Next Level of Vegan Restaurants

January 16, 2024

Next Level Burger acquires Veggie Grill

Running Point and its chief investment officer, Michael Ashley Schulman, CFA, were quoted by The Food Institute in an article — by Grace Garwood, “Market Signals: Unpacking the Veggie Grill Acquisition” — regarding Next Level Burger acquiring Veggie Grill from VegInvest, a vegan investment fund.

Who knew veggies could be this riveting?

The acquisition of Veggie Grill by Next Level Burger is an indicator of what is coming to be known as “plant-based 2.0”.

It is a sign that veganism’s next evolutionary step will broaden and flourish thanks to all the investors, sustainability and impact advocates, entrepreneurs, and consumers continuing to pursue plant-based’s potential to create a more economic and efficient way to nourish the planet. Get ready for a menu revolution that caters to both your health and your discerning taste buds. The future of plant-based meats, with its promises of mind-blowing flavors, tantalizing textures, and effective production processes may dazzle us. It should only get better from here.

Quoted article excerpts are below:

Michael Ashley Schulman, CFA, Partner & Chief Investment Officer at Running Point Capital Advisors also views the acquisition as a positive indication that plant-based 2.0—the next iteration of veganism—will expand and thrive.

“Veggie Grill was and is a forward-thinking, flavor-first, ground-breaking brand and fast-casual concept,” Schulman told The Food Institute. “It is a bold move by Next Level that nearly triples its size—Veggie Grill by Next Level feels like a reset and a turbo boost—together they will be one of the largest plant-based chains in the country, which will be advantageous for branding, marketing, and expansion.”

According to Schulman, his California-based wealth management firm has seen several venture groups funding enticing plant-based concepts.

“What that means is that from a menu perspective that caters to customer health and tastes, the future possibilities and excitement that comes with plant-based meats—including their flavor, texture, and production process—seems limitless and will only improve from here,” he concluded.

Veggies, plant-based
Veggies, plant-based — Graphic design and photography by

Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
― Albert Einstein

By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet.
― Thích Nhất Hạnh, Vietnamese Thiền Buddhist monk, known as the “father of mindfulness”

Disclosure: The opinions expressed are those of Running Point Capital Advisors, LLC (Running Point) and are subject to change without notice. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication, may be modified due to changes in the market or economic conditions, and may not necessarily come to pass. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Forward-looking statements cannot be guaranteed. Running Point is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about Running Point’s investment advisory services and fees can be found in its Form ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. RP-24-06