Lyfe Kitchen aka McHealth Food

What is Lyfe Kitchen?

Two former McDonald’s execs are set to turn the fast-food industry on it’s ear….by serving fast-food that isn’t junk-food.

Opening this summer in Palo Alto, Calif., Lyfe Kitchen is aiming at the increasingly popular “fast casual” segment of the restaurant market, serving up made-to-order cuisine in the vein of Panera or Chipotle.

Concept of Lyfe Kitchen

In an effort to earn it’s “health-food” credentials, the Lyfe Kitchen kitchen will not use butter, cream or high-fructose corn syrup in any of its menu options. According to the Chicago Tribune, none of the food on the menu will be fried, and every menu item will contain less than 600 calories. Interestingly, even though the desserts will reportedly be dairy-free and vegetarian and vegan options will abound, the menu descriptions will not be using terms like “vegetarian,” “dairy-free,” “vegan” or “gluten-free.”

But what really sets Lyfe Kitchens apart from it’s competitors are it’s ties to two American icons.

McDonald’s and Oprah Winfrey

Former McDonald’s President and Chief Operating Officer Mike Roberts, and former communications boss Mike Donahue are hoping to open as many as 250 restaurants nationally within the next 5 years.
Their expectation is that smart real estate decisions, carefully constructed marketing, philanthropy as a core principle and tasty food will push Lyfe to succeed where others have failed.

[box]And if Ronald McDonald wasn’t enough, Oprah Winfrey’s former personal chef Art Smith will be designing the menu.[/box]


Which should help…especially when you consider that the Lyfe’s target customer base is women looking to upgrade the nutrition factor of their fast-food diet.


Douglas Robb

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, and a student of nutrition and exercise science. He's also the co-founder of the Hive Health Media. Since 2008, Doug has expanded his impact by bringing his real-world experience online via the health & fitness blog – Health Habits.

6 thoughts on “Lyfe Kitchen aka McHealth Food

  • April 14, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Hope they make it out to Overland Park, KS. Would love to go out and eat healthy

  • March 31, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Actually, this has already been done. Fitt Meals To Go is in Laguna Niguel, CA. We offer freshly prepared, whole grain based, high fiber, low fat meals to go. Essentially we offer an array of superfoods, inclusive of healthy mono unsaturated fats. We have received over 90,000 unique visits to our website in the past year locally, nationally and internationally. The concept has obviously resonated. We are anti-fast food, but certainly anti-diet food. We are basically a healthier version of real food. Our Fitt Pizza and Fitt Burgers are ever popular. We continue to receive countless compliments on our food and we service to private schools that include the very discriminating palates of pre-schoolers ages 3-6. My handicap at this juncture of the business is strictly financial, as I did not have the option to partner with any investor with deep pockets. We have not only received the highly coveted 5 start Yelp rating within 1 week of opening, but also a recipient of an Orange County Restaurant Award of Excellence. I concur that the one important factor in “Lyfe Kitchen’s” success will be financial. Clearly more than half the battle from start to franchise phase is capital and that is why this venture will probably succeed.

  • February 18, 2011 at 9:32 am

    In my humble opinion – the problem with HFCS is not nutritional necessarily – that has simply become an externality associated with its cheap production, cheap dissemination, and its role in the long-term warping of the american food system.

  • February 9, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Consumers are being misled into thinking that there are nutritional differences between high fructose corn syrup and sugar, when in fact they are nutritionally the same. Whether it’s corn sugar or cane sugar, your body can’t tell the difference. Sugar is sugar. They all contain four calories per gram. Switching out a kind of corn sugar for table sugar is not for health and it is not for science.
    According to the American Dietetic Association, “high fructose corn syrup…is nutritionally equivalent to sucrose. Once absorbed into the blood stream, the two sweeteners are indistinguishable.”

    The American Medical Association stated that, “Because the composition of high fructose corn syrup and sucrose are so similar, particularly on absorption by the body, it appears unlikely that high fructose corn syrup contributes more to obesity or other conditions than sucrose.”

    As many dietitians agree, all sugars should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced lifestyle.

    Consumers can see the latest research and learn more about high fructose corn syrup at

    Audrae Erickson
    Corn Refiners Association

  • February 8, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Is this stock going public?

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