Good for Heather. I've always said that vegan fast-food restaurants are one of the keys to winning over omnivores who'd never otherwise consider eating vegan food. If you deliver great food at an affordable cost, people will come.
Hard to say whether it'll really be bigger than McDonald's. As of 2007, McDonald's boasted 30,000 restaurants in 119 countries serving an estimated 50 million people every day. I'm sure the chain has grown in the last three years. Even in economic hard times - let me re-phrase that: especially in economic hard times - people still flock to McDonald's.
Veganism is a hard sell to omnivores. I know. I was an omnivore most of my life, as recently as last year. If you slap the label of "Vegan" on something, a hell of a lot of omnivores are going to go out of their way to avoid it. There is this notion - a false one, but a very, very widespread one - that vegan food tastes like, well, can I say it? Shit.
That's far from the truth. But it's impossible to deny that a lot of people think that.
So Heather Mills might be a tad ambitious. Plus she isn't helped by the fact that compared to other fast-food joints, the prices at VBites ($11 Caesar salads; $8 soya burgers; $12 mini-pizzas with soya cheese) are a little higher. You pay more for vegan chow at VBites. It would be nice to have a vegan fast-food restaurant with prices as cheap as the omnivore ones.
But Heather's heart is in a wonderful place. And I hope she does get that chain started. Because delicious vegan fast food will find a following, I'm convinced, and - who knows? - it might even draw some people away from Burger King, McDonald's, Wendy's, etc. etc. What a blessing that would be. And how nice it would be for vegans to have a place where there isn't only one damn token item on the menu (at the more thoughtful places!) for us to order.
Incidentally, Jessica Simpson's fiance', Eric Johnson (ex-San Francisco 49ers tight end) has said he also plans to open a vegan fast-food chain. (Source) We can only hope that both chains spread like gangbusters. Imagine vegans having to choose between two different fast-food places, the way omnivores debate Wendy's versus McDonald's (or McDonald's versus Burger King).
The day that happens, we'll know that veganism - to quote from the old TV show The Jeffersons - will be "a-movin' on up."