Sweetgreen debuts dinner dishes as coronavirus keeps customers at home

For every plate purchased, one will be donated to a hospital

Sweetgreen is offering more than just salad bowls, the healthy food chain announced Thursday.

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The salad restaurant is rolling out a "Plates" menu to offer customers more healthy meal options besides warm and cold salads, including nine different plant and meat proteins and sides.

"We’re continuing to look for ways to evolve our offerings as the needs of our guests change due to the impact of COVID-19," Nicolas Jammet, Sweetgreen co-founder and chief concept officer, said in a statement.

He added that Sweetegreen's aim with its Plates menu "is to help create meaningful connections and good-for-you dining experiences during times where it may seem hard to do so. We hope these new items invoke the warm, comforting feeling of home-cooked food, paired with quality ingredients and rich flavors that are unique to Sweetgreen."

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Plates options include meals like Hot Honey Chicken, Shroomy Asada and Herby Fish and Rice, among other options. Sides include cauliflower rice and beans, a whole chicken thigh and spicy pesto sweet potatoes. The meals will be served on square plates, unlike Sweetgreen's traditional hexagon-shaped bowls.

Sweetgreen salads / Sweetgreen

The restaurant chain initially planned to roll out Plates by 2021 but sped up the process to meet customer needs during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Sweetgreen is donating one plate for plate purchased and has already donated its initial goal of more than 100,000 meals to more than 130 U.S. hospitals. The company has since made a new goal of reaching 250,000 donations.

The salad restaurant mandated digital ordering on March 16 at all 104 of its locations to maintain social distancing. Customers must order on the Sweetgreen app and have the option to either have their salads delivered or pick them up.

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