Steele Smiley

CEO, Founder, Chairman, Owner at Paco & Lime and 3 other companies
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Serial entrepreneur who disrupted and changed the health club business and now focused on disrupting the healthy casual dining sector with three new restaurants rolling out nationally. Restaurant brands include Crisp & Greene (opening 2 new stores a week in 2022), Stalk & Spade (concept open in Minneapolis), and Paco and Lime (concept store under construction).

Recent Quotes
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  • “I’m more excited about this than anything I’ve ever done,” said Smiley, who thought of the idea just last year when his 11-year-old son Asher complained about eating Crisp & Green for the fourth time in a row, and asked if he could just have a burger. “I started thinking, I’m going to build you a burger chain where you can have anything you want, and I’m going to feel good about it as a parent, and that’s literally how this idea started.”

    “I re-engineered the kitchen and the cost structure. My goal is, since we’re launching during a pandemic and expecting fast growth, I put my entire team on evaluating every single cost,” Smiley added. He said everything "down to the materials of the tables, chairs, signage, kitchen items" and more was carefully selected to keep the price down."

    Steele Smiley Launches Plant-Based Burger Franchise, Stalk & Spade, Franchise Times, Mar 05, 2021

    25 October 2021
  • “I’m utterly convinced we’ve cracked the code on plant-based burgers. You won’t know the difference,” Smiley said. “I knew the only way people would come is if the food tastes like classic favorites.” In a dozen blind tastings with consumers, Smiley said not a single person knew they were eating plant-based meat. “I wanted culinary control,” said Smiley, who appears to be first to market with an all plant-based fast casual concept that isn’t focused on salads, grain bowls or other “healthy” options. The question: are consumers—particularly in the Midwest where food trends are slower to catch on—ready to get their burger-and-fries fix from a plant protein-based chain?

    “I’d rather be ahead of the curve than behind it,” Smiley said. “And isn’t it great to have a national brand start here rather than on the coasts?”

    Plan-Based Burger Chain Set to Launch in Wayzata, Twin Cities Business, Mar 02, 2021

    25 October 2021
  • “We’re excited to introduce another culinary concept that meets consumer needs,” says Smiley, alluding to the more than 9.7 million Americans currently following plant-based diets. “From burgers to shakes, everything on the menu will be plant-based. Whether you drive through or dine in, guests will feel good about what they put in their bodies at an affordable price.”

    Meet The Man Who Wants To Build The Plant-Based McDonald's Of The Future, Forbes, Mar 2, 2021

    25 October 2021
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