MealPal, the company that helps you lunch at thousands of restaurants for less than $6/day, sits down once a week to interview innovative chefs making a splash in the fast casual industry. This week, MealPal spoke with Zach Thomas from DTLA favorite Everytable to learn more about his approach to health-forward cooking.
MP: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Z: My name is Zachary Thomas and I am Head Chef at Everytable. I was born and raised in NYC and have worked in the food industry in a variety of positions. Prior to working at Everytable, I spent 8+ years working for both full service restaurants and several prominent grab and go brands including Dos Toros and Pret A Manger delivering exciting, groundbreaking and most importantly delicious menu items to thrill and nourish our guests. I like to focus on fresh, seasonal flavors and ingredients to offer our guests an unforgettable experience.
MP: What’s the inspiration behind Everytable?
Z: Our founder and CEO, Sam Polk, started Everytable to address the lack of healthy and affordable meals in underserved areas, also known as food deserts. Read more here: https://www.everytable.com/our-story
MP: What do you love most about food culture in LA?
Z: The variety of flavors and fresh produce available year round. Also, street tacos. I’ve never had better.
MP: Tell me about how you incorporate fresh, clean, or unprocessed ingredients into fast casual?
Z:Producing healthy meals, made from whole ingredients is a core value of our business. The Everytable model is also a bit different than a fast casual restaurant. We make every meal from scratch in a central kitchen — this means always starting with whole, fresh ingredients. We make all our marinades, dressings, sauces, and garnishes in-house. Then, we deliver the meals to our grab-and-go restaurants. In order to uphold the quality of all dishes — from production in our kitchen to delivery at our restaurants and then to our guests — we must start with only the freshest ingredients.
MP: Why do you like MealPal?
Z: MealPal provides us a powerful channel to reach new guests throughout DTLA.
MP: What do you think the future of fast casual looks like?
Z: The fast casual segment is under pressure to continue to produce high quality meals at affordable prices. Everytable is creating a new food segment that is a cross between fast-casual and food subscription services. Since we produce all our meals at a central kitchen and then distribute to our grab-and-go restaurants, we are able to serve delicious, high quality meals at affordable prices. We’re also looking forward to seeing more socially conscious brands that share our mission to make healthy and affordable meals accessible to all communities.
MP: What’s next for Everytable?
Z: Lots of exciting things! We’re opening more grab-and-go restaurants and we’re working hard on our Spring menu. We will introduce a few crave-able dishes where sustainable and seasonal ingredients are the stars.