Listen To This Post
Atlanta fans may say standing in line for Slutty Vegan’s saucy burgers and skinny dippers is fast-food foreplay, making those One Night Stands and Heaux Boys even tastier. But founder and CEO Pinky Cole knows that sometimes you just need a quickie.
“We’ve been thinking about a drive-through for a while,” Cole tells What Now Atlanta. Last week, she teased plans for a sleek, sexy drive-through in a Facebook post, and later confirmed to us that the Atlanta-based burger chain would pop that cherry at their new location, being built out at 2329 Manchester Expressway in Columbus, Georgia, and set to open later this year.
Cole started the popular plant-based burger joint in 2018 as an Instagram-based delivery service out of a shared commercial kitchen. Within weeks, she was operating her own food truck and by 2019, she opened her first brick-and-mortar restaurant and had founded Pinky Foundation, Slutty Vegan’s heart of gold, which has paid off student loans at Clark Atlanta University and created scholarships for juvenile offenders.
Today, Slutty Vegan has four Metro Atlanta locations, Bar Vegan in Ponce City Market, vegan CBD gummies and other plant-based products, and outlets in Athens, Birmingham, and Brooklyn, with more announced—including the up-and-coming Columbus location.
Cole’s vegan empire is growing rapidly, thanks in part to funding backed by Enlightened Hospitality Investments, co-founded by Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group, founder of Shake Shack, and New Voices Fund, led by billionaire entrepreneur and ESSENCE Ventures CEO Richelieu Dennis.
According to The Beet, this “will put Slutty Vegan at a valuation of around $100 million. By the end of 2023, the plant-based burger restaurant is projected to have at least 25 locations nationwide.”
“We’re valued at $100 million with this round of funding,” founder Pinky Cole told What Now Atlanta last year. “But I’m not stopping until we’re worth a billion.”
The food truck, affectionately called the “Big Slut,” remains key to the expansion, appearing in potential markets before new restaurants are announced. “[Slutty Vegan’s] food truck made a stop in the Fountain City and had a great turnout and reviews,” gushed WTVM–Columbus’ Jatavia O’Neal. Cole would go on to announce the new restaurant in the former China Express location just four months later.
Keep an eye open in your community for the yellow-and-black food truck. And take note: Cole is also teasing franchise opportunities on Facebook, saying “BUT… you could only get in business with your ex. Would you do it?”