JUST IN: The First Organic Fast-Food Chain Will Pay Employees Livable Wage Of $16 An Hour


The Organic Coup are a bold new chain of fast-food restaurants, currently concentrated in the San Francisco bay area. They are, as the fiercely defiant name for their brand suggests, seeking to cause a “disruption” in America’s enormous fast-food industry.

What exactly is their call-to-arms? Or, more appropriately, call-to-cookware? Serving a menu made up of all certifiable organic items and paying their workers a living wage of $14-16 an hour.

The folks at the Coup appear to be truly attempting to marry their business interests with honest, bold food activism. They claim, on their website at least, to be an organization filled with “passionate people” seeking to inspire real social change. They describe the origins of their company as follows:

‘What’s the story behind our name? Truth be told, it started out as a typo when spelling the word “coop” while first hatching out the plan (pun intended) for an entirely new fast food concept. But, this typo actually captured the spirit of our mission and we knew we had our name.  A “coup” is a takeover – and that’s our vision: an organic takeover of the fast food industry. Totally disruptive and bold. The Organic Coup represents a new day and a new attitude about fast food – fast food can be good food.

The Coup believes in food that is raised within the Organic USDA standards.  These standards do not allow Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), toxic chemicals and pesticides, or the use of antibiotics or added hormones in livestock.  We believe in sustainability, not just for the quality of life today, but also for the future.

We believe in “Team Coup” (our employees) and we are investing in them with a livable wage that sets a new standard in fast food.’

The company seeks to model itself heavily on Costco Wholesale, who have themselves built up a reputation for supporting living wages for American workers over the years. In fact, two major Costco figures, founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal and current CFO Richard Galanti, have invested heavily in the Coup project, which has raised $7 million in its first round of financing.

Items on their menu will be pricier than typical options at McDonalds and the like, with their signature chicken sandwich starting out at $9.99. The Coup argues, however, that their current focus is on providing quality food rather than matching price points at cheaper chains. Consumers can expect a greater return on investment by taking their sandwich cravings there instead of another major chain in the nation’s fast-food pantheon, giving them sustainable, non-GMO food options in exchange for a couple extra dollars out of their wallet.

Organic Coup is undoubtedly riding on a rising tide in the growing organic food industry. A recent report by TechSci projects that the global organic food market will grow by 16% from 2015-2020. The report cites “growing health concerns among consumers and increasing awareness with regard to health benefits of organic food” as a major motivator for this projected growth. Despite the higher costs associated with these products, customers can be assured that they will not be prone to the many adverse health effects associated with the chemical preservatives and genetic modification often found in inorganic food options.

Featured image via Anti-Media, under a creative commons license.