We’re open! Come say hi and browse our merch at –> www.welocol.com
3/17 Update: We did it! Thank u all so much. Time to get to work and make it real. The revolution has begun! We still got time so spread the word. Amazing. THANK YOU!
Welcome to LocoL. We’re chefs Roy Choi (Kogi BBQ) and Daniel Patterson (Coi SF), and we want you to join us in tackling the fast food industry.
In short, we’re aiming to revolutionize the fast food industry as we know it in America. It’s going to be long, difficult and damn near impossible journey. If that doesn’t scare you, this is where we take the first step.
Welcome to the revolution.
– Roy, Daniel, and The LocoL Crew
LocoL chefs from L to R: Chad Robertson (Tartine), Daniel Patterson (Coi), Roy Choi (Kogi BBQ), and Rene Redzepi (Noma, MAD Symposium)
Here’s the Problem
Our food system is broken. And most of the damage is done in the form of fast food.
The food world has never been more celebrated, and yet at the same time, we’re feeding our children corrosive chemical waste. Food science can be used for wonderful, creative, nutritious, delightful creations. But put in the wrong hands, the same science can be used for wrong — getting people psychologically and physically addicted to just the worst quality, terribly sourced, straight harmful food.
This kind of fast food is the only viable options in the growing food desserts of America. And it’s not just a problem for the communities on the “wrong” side of the tracks. Even some of the toniest suburbs of America are defined by their rows and rows of chain restaurants.
Bad food—the empty-calorie, industrial-farmed, processed-everything-Value-Meal-Family-Deal—hurts everyone, yet it’s the most ubiquitous restaurant option out there. It exacts a toll on the planet, including on the people who make and consume it. It is not actually cheap.
We didn’t eat like this just two generations ago. Our grandparents’ generation, they ate read food. But now this is who we’ve become. We’ve been brainwashed. And our whole diet has become polluted.
But it doesn’t have to be this way…
The LocoL Vision
Our vision with LocoL is to create a fast food concept that’s delicious, but do it with the heart of a chef. As chefs, we’re approaching it just like we would another restaurant – design, function, systems, fee and costs, organizations, sourcing, product, farmers, ingredients, recipes, training, all that stuff. Then on the other side of it is being very aware of what fast food is and what it’s become in America, and why it’s so important, popular, and powerful. Not trying to throw all of those things away.
The inspiration for LocoL came from our previous cooking efforts. Daniel started a non-profit, The Cooking Project, to offer free classes, teaching young people how to cook and the value of gathering around the table. While volunteering and teaching people from the streets how to cook good food inexpensively, and the value of gathering around the table. So many of the kids had subsisted their whole lives on processed food, and it was a revelation to see how positively they responded to real food that they made themselves.
Then he met Roy, co-founder of Kogi—food trucks that serve tasty, hard-to-categorize food. As Kogi’s reputation and success grew, so did Roy’s drive to feed more people. He began opening brick and mortar places that improved their communities, like 3 Worlds Cafe, a fruit and juice bar in South Central.
They laid the foundation for a new fast food concept, and announced it to a cheering audience of fellow chefs last August at MAD4 Symposium. Full video here:
Tackling Fast Food
People love a Big Mac, people love a Quarter Pounder, people love KFC and Church’s and Popeye’s. People love that. It doesn’t help if we’re going to just try to say, “Don’t eat any of that stuff.”
We can sit here and blast all day long about fast food, but the fact is they’re winning.
It would be ignorant and stupid of us to not acknowledge and understand all that. LocoL is a small bridge; to use the familiar to our advantage to bridge us over to healthier, wholesome ways.
We’re just trying to take it back to basics. A lot of these fast food chains weren’t evil before. Somehow along the line as businesses grow, money and things start to change your decisions. Then before you know it, sometimes you don’t know which way is up anymore. Our philosophy in this is to always know which way is up. As chefs, we would never get to the point where we would be serving poison to people.
Maybe by creating our own business, we can exist side-by-side, so even if they won’t listen we can work as a competitor to make them listen. We can create real change, in this case by building a better business.
As much as thoughtful articles, books, and speeches are important in shifting how we think, they are not going to solve the food problems we have in our country. Our government certainly won’t solve them either. We have to act if we want change. If we can open profitable restaurants that are inexpensive and serve delicious food made with real ingredients; if we bring new options to places that currently lack quality food; if we cook with heart; if we create an environment of warmth, generosity, and caring; and if we value the people with less money just as much as the ones with plenty, we can make a difference.
The LocoL Menu
LocoL Burger, Tartine Bun, and “Chicken Nugs” with Chef Daniel’s awesome sauce.
We know that the cornerstone of the American fast food chain is the burger and the sandwich and the fried items. We’re going to take a look at all of that and dissect it and then revisit it. So the first example of that is our burger. How do we take that burger and not make it a gourmet burger, make it a burger that feels, tastes, looks, smells, and sits in your hand just like a Quarter Pounder.
Chad Robertson of Tartine will help us bake the bread. Chad makes the best bread in America and for LocoL he’ll make a bun that is soft and squishy just like the fast food bun.
We’re taking each element and breaking it apart and asking ourselves, How can we find the price point, but challenge the status quo? The burger — cutting it with grains and the tofu — is finding a way because we don’t have the power to get our meat at the same prices that these chains do yet.
There is one fast food tradition we’re outright rejecting: NO SODAS! We feel strongly about this. Agua Frescas Por Vida!
Tasting, cooking, cooking, tasting. Support our R&D! Come taste test with us (check the 999 perk)
The LocoL Team
LocoL is the brainchild of chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson.
Roy is the co-founder and co-owner of Kogi BBQ trucks, Chego, 3 Worlds Café, Alibi Room, Sunny Spot, A-Frame, Pot, Line Hotel.
Daniel is the founder and owner of Daniel Patterson Group, including restaurants Coi, Alta, Plum, Plum Bar, and Haven.
Hanson Li is the founder and owner of Salt Partners Group.
We also have a team of great advisors:
- Chad Robertson, Founder and owner of Tartine Bakery, Bar Tartine
- Rene Redzepi, Chef and Co-owner of NOMA, Founder of MAD Symposium
- Scott Kester, Founder and owner of Scott Kester Design
- David Irvin, Principal and Creative Director at Folklor
- Mark Stech-Novak, Founder and owner of Mark Stech-Novak Restaurant Consultations and Design
LocoL’s Chef All Star Team! L to R: Chad Robertson (Tartine), Daniel, Roy, and Rene Redzepi (Noma, MAD)
JON FAVREAU CHALLENGE GRANT!
What are some other strategies for keeping food costs low and quality high?
It doesn’t have to be all meat. We can’t use the same method, so we have to be creative about it. How are we going to get it 99 cents, and if we can’t do it by buying straight meat, then you know what, let’s use grains and tofu and cut things. Let’s use rice, let’s figure those things out. That’s kind of some of the strategy that we’re using.
We aren’t re-inventing the wheel. There are people out there doing great food in the fast food sector like Shake Shack. Chipotle has been doing their thing, In-N-Out. The main thing is even with a lot of those chains, their food is still not 99 cents and McDonald’s is 99 cents. That’s really the difference in what LocoL is. It’s not trying to compete with Shake Shack and Chipotle or other kinds of semi-gourmet fast food chains.
How will the two chefs work together?
We’re a duo, so it’s one guy might do one thing, one guy might do another, but ultimately we’re one being. We just try to up-play everything we’re good at. But then at the same time, bring it together as one thing.
Roy is part of a street food revolution. He is out there on the streets, cooking with people. He has a lot of bold flavors and knows how to create food that has an identity, an iconic voice. Daniel really trusts Roy to have a cultural finger on the nerve.
Daniel is extremely gifted and smart and well-versed in the sciences of cooking and the methodology of cooking. Roy doesn’t like to get bogged down with the business stuff too much. He just believes and considers himself a hippy in that way. Daniel knows business and so he’s looking at those things. We fill in each other’s blind spots.
Will you guys still fulfill the perks to backers if you don’t reach your goal?
Where and when do I tell you what size and items I want (and other fulfillment details)? I didn’t see it in the check out.
Good question. Indiegogo doesn’t allow us to get those items in the checkout flow. So we will be sending an email with a link to fill out those questions once the campaign is over. So please please please keep an eye out for that email when the campaign is done!
Why are you guys crowdfunding?
Read Chef Roy’s full answer to this exact question on Quora: http://qr.ae/B5135 Upvotes appreciated!