Boston University students will have a new sustainable dining option on West Campus in early 2014, officials said.
BurgerFi, a restaurant chain committed to sustainability and healthy food, has announced they will open a new location at 961 Commonwealth Avenue in late January, BurgerFi’s Chief Operating Officer Nick King said.
BurgerFi’s focus on environmentalism and naturally raised food will appeal to BU’s student body, King said. The restaurants are green and built to maintain a low carbon footprint.
“Today’s students are much more in tune with what they’re putting into their bodies, are much more selective of the food that they eat, and are much more intelligent about the environment,” King said. “BurgerFi embraces all of those issues or attributes.”
Sustainability@BU Sustainability Outreach Coordinator Lisa Tornatore said BurgerFi will help bring awareness of sustainability issues to BU’s campus.
“I hope students begin to learn more about sustainable business practices as a result of their [BurgerFi’s] presence,” Tornatore said. “Awareness and education are our best allies in making change happen.”
Tornatore said the university holds a responsibility to educate students on sustainable practices, and is committed to reducing its environmental footprint on the Earth.
“As an educational institution, we have a commitment to sending off our graduates with not only an education, but with a drive to do good in the world, and encouraging a more sustainable society is part of that,” Toratore said.
The restaurant’s tables and chairs are made from various recycled materials, including Coca-Cola bottles, milk jugs and alloy from recycled cans, King said.
“Everything about BurgerFi is about sustainability, low carbon footprint and all-natural, good quality food,” King said. “… If you go to the average BurgerFi, you will see between six and seven recycle containers, but only one dumpster. 80 percent of what we take in goes out as recyclables.”
The beef used in BurgerFi’s food is hormone and antibiotic free, all-natural and certified as humanely raised, King said. Additionally, BurgerFi’s French fries are hand-cut and blanched every day.
“Our restaurants are extremely successful across the United States,” King said. “College towns especially seem to enjoy our food and our ambience at our price point.”
BurgerFi operates restaurants at several universities including Rollins College in Orlando, Fla. and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The restaurant’s Commonwealth Avenue location will be the first to open in the city of Boston.
Alyx Weiss, a School of Management freshman, said the combination of its emphasis on sustainable practices and fast food will make BurgerFi a successful business on BU’s campus.
“College students are always in a rush, so it’s good to have fast food,” Weiss said. “Also, in our generation, people are way more conscious of being environmentally friendly and healthy. It puts both together, it’s great.”
However, instead of a BurgerFi, Weiss said she would prefer a healthier restaurant to be established on Commonwealth Avenue.
“All the restaurants there now are relatively unhealthy,” Weiss said. “If you don’t go to the dining hall there’s [Raising] Cane’s and T. Anthony’s. A healthy option would be good.”
Emma Crain, a School of Hospitality Administration freshman, said BU students are generally environmentally conscious, and will therefore be attracted to
BurgerFi’s sustainable practices.
“I know BU is very environmentally-friendly,” Crain said. “On our floor they have a sign of how much we recycle and how we can expand on that. I feel like it’s
going to work well because a lot of kids here are all about going green.”
Alessandro Gomes, a College of Engineering sophomore, said BurgerFi will attract students because it differs from standard fast food restaurants.
“It’s good to know that you’re not having as big of a footprint as you would eating at a McDonalds or UBurger,” Gomes said. “It would be interesting to go and see if there is a difference in taste from having higher grade [food] and a lower environmental impact.”