Fast-casual Honeygrow expands in MidAtlantic Region
MidAtlantic is a target of Honeygrow’s growth
Fast casual restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area continue to grow, as Philadelphia-based Honeygrow expands further in the MidAtlantic region. Honeygrow, which focuses on new and different stir-fry combinations, has already experienced considerable success and popularity in its hometown of Philadelphia and beyond—32 locations open across 10 states, currently—with 18 of those stores now open in the MidAtlantic.
With one D.C. location already open in Chinatown since December of 2016, and with locations in Reston, Pentagon City, and Rockville, Honeygrow has its sights set on several more sites in the D.C. metro area, including a definite one in Tyson’s Corner at the Pike 7 Plaza.
Honeygrow is part of the wave of integrated technology in fast-casuals; touchscreen self-order kiosks allow customers at Honeygrow to customize noodle and stir-fry bowls with any combination of ingredients, while their app allows customers to pre-order for pickup. Although Honeygrow does not offer an in-house delivery service, it works with providers like Caviar and GrubHub to provide a delivery option for interested customers. This makes Honeygrow part of a growing movement that has embraced app-based delivery services, allowing tech-savvy restaurateurs to add additional business by paying the providers delivery fees in the form of rates or commissions established by them.
Taking tech a step further than most restaurants, Honeygrow has embraced the use of Virtual Reality to train its staff at new locations, according to WTOP’s Jeff Clabaugh. Using VR to help the rapidly expanding chain meet its need for trained staff is a landmark occasion not only for Honeygrow, but also for the broader restaurant industry, and could provide a model for other rapidly expanding chains to ensure that staff at far-flung locations receive the same quality training.
But for Jazmyn Small, service manager at Honeygrow’s Chinatown location, it is Founder and CEO Justin Rosenburg’s personal involvement in management that has been key to the success of the quickly-growing business, keeping staff engaged and excited since the Chinatown location first opened in 2016.
Honeygrow offers diverse, appealing menu served quickly
Honeygrow offers both pre-designed creations and the ability for customers to create their own bowls from a list of ingredients. Some of its pre-designed stir-fry dishes include:
- Chesapeake Crab, (a seasonal dish offered in the summer) prepared with blue crab, egg noodles, Old Bay seasoning, grape tomatoes, bell peppers, red onions, scallions, and garnished with parsley
- Red Coconut Curry, with spicy tofu, pineapple, scallions, cilantro, bean sprouts, and jalapeños
- Sweet Soy Five Spice, which is made with brown rice, ground turkey, green beans, red onions, and sesame seeds
These are just a few of Honeygrow’s pre-designed dishes, with some others offered only at certain locations or seasonally.
In the quest for variety and perhaps in order to broaden its market appeal, Honeygrow also offers an array of customizable salads including:
- Walnut St. Noodle, with whole wheat noodles, walnut lemon dressing, arugula, mushrooms, walnuts, and roasted broccoli
- Make It Grain, with red quinoa, beets, carrots, feta cheese, wheat berries, grapes, and cashews
- White Bean Tuna, with romaine lettuce, arugula, white beans, hard-boiled egg, yellowfin tuna, grape tomatoes, pickled peppers, onions
- Highland Summer, with baby spinach, spring mix greens, watermelon, grape tomatoes, corn, red onions, cashews
Honeygrow locations are open for both lunch and dinner—at Honeygrow’s Chinatown location, experience has proven that “lunch is huge” according to Honeygrow’s Small, but dinner crowds can surge too depending on the schedule at the nearby Capital One Arena.
All these food options come together to create a new and unique fast-casual experience in the D.C. area, with the stir-fry options certain to be Honeygrow’s heavy hitters. While providing a unique new take on the proven fast-casual model, Honeygrow also shows that the integration of technology in developing fast-casuals will continue to grow and expand in the broader market.
Author credit: Max Testa
Photos credit: Honeygrow