2021 | Dine

PLNT Burger opening inside Whole Foods in North Bethesda

First day at new location is Saturday

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PLNT Burger is opening on Saturday inside the Whole Foods in North Bethesda.

Photo provided

The plant-based burger chain PLNT Burger is opening a location inside the North Bethesda Whole Foods on Saturday, the company announced Monday.

PLNT Burger opened its first location in September 2019 inside the downtown Silver Spring Whole Foods. It has since expanded to locations throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

The North Bethesda location will be chain’s 10th overall, according to a press release, and its second in Montgomery County.

The chain’s burgers are made with Beyond Meat patties, and garnished with toppings that include lettuce, tomato, onion, dairy-free cheese and its signature PLNT sauce. The burgers are between $6 and $10.

PLNT Burger also serves Beyond Sausage sandwiches and “Chik-N-Funguy” sandwiches, which have a crispy fried mushroom.

PLNT Burger’s founders include D.C.-area restaurateur Spike Mendelsohn and Seth Goldman, who founded PLNT Burger’s holding company Bethesda-based Eat the Change. Goldman’s son Jonah; wife, Julie Farkas; and others were also involved in the founding.

Eat the Change’s headquarters are on Bethesda Avenue, in the former location of the Honest Tea Headquarters before its offices moved to Atlanta to become part of Coca-Cola.

Seth Goldman told Bethesda Beat in an interview on Monday that the Silver Spring eatery has been successful since opening almost two years ago.

“We haven’t seen the sales of one geography eat into the sales of another, so we feel like this is a concept that’s certainly gonna have a ready audience in North Bethesda/Rockville,” he said.

Goldman said PLNT Burger has continued to grow despite the COVID-19 pandemic, expanding from one store pre-pandemic to a tenth next weekend.

“That’s a pretty good growth rate without a pandemic, and to do it in a pandemic is a credit to the team and the work they’ve been doing,” he said.

Goldman said the pandemic has forced PLNT Burger to shift its business model slightly, such as developing a mobile application that customers have been using to order food. The company also hasn’t been able to do “celebratory launches” of its new establishments, he said.

“We haven’t been able to do the same kind of sampling that we’ve been able to do before the pandemic, where we would give samples to whoever walked into the store,” he said.

PLNT Burger’s North Bethesda location, at 11355 Woodglen Drive, will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for both dine-in and takeout service starting on Saturday, according to the press release.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com