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Added 9 May, 2020

What comes after "food bowls"? Food plates, of course

Salad-bowl magnate Sweetgreen is experimenting with something squarer, flatter, and hotter: “plates.” The DC-born chain announced today that it will launch a new dinner-esque menu category at all 100-plus locations nationally, offering nine healthful combinations of proteins such as hot honey chicken and tofu matched—not mixed—with veggies and grains. So, is the build-your-own bowl trend over? Not yet. Sweetgreen’s salads and warm grain mixes remain the backbone of the $1 billion–plus company. “Plates” were slated to roll out next year—perhaps the timely demise of the circa-2018 bowl craze—but the health crisis sped the launch along. Not to mention the obliteration of quick-grab workday lunches and demand for warm, comforting meals. (Sweetgreen plans to donate one plate to frontline workers for every one purchased.) It may be a signal that restaurants are finally ready to think outside the poke and açai, ancient-grain, or power bowl.

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