The Bay Area is now the fifth city to sell the meat-free burger.

By Mike Pomranz
Updated June 10, 2019
Impossible burger
Credit: Impossible Foods Inc.

For Burger King, the Impossible Whopper is the gift that keeps on giving. This vegetarian version of BK’s signature burger that features a plant-based patty from Impossible Foods was first announced on April 1 (no joke) with a test run in St. Louis. Before the month was over, Burger King was already touting a nationwide rollout. Just one problem: The King would be the largest chain to offer Impossible burgers, but at the same time, Impossible Foods was very public about the booming brand’s struggles to keep up with demand. So how would getting the Impossible Whopper into over 7,000 U.S. location work? The answer so far has been market-by-market, with every new release coming with another round of media fanfare.

Today, Burger King has announced that San Francisco will be the next city to start selling the Impossible Whopper. This adds the forward-thinking metropolis to a list that includes Miami, Florida; Columbus, Georgia; and Montgomery, Alabama — which were announced in May — and the original launch home of St. Louis, Missouri. The Bay Area will bring over 100 more BK locations into the fold, a 50-percent increase from the approximately 200 Burger King outlets that currently serve the burger. Beyond simply keeping their promise, a recent report makes it clear why BK wants to keep its Impossible Whoppers coming: inMarket inSights said that St. Louis locations serving the meat-free burger saw foot-traffic increase by about 17 percent in April while visits to locations everywhere else across the country were actually slightly down, according to CNBC.

Meanwhile, though the repeated rounds of hype are certainly good publicity for both Burger King and Impossible Foods, CNN Business reports that it’s not just a stunt. Though Impossible recently pulled in $300 million in fresh funding, primarily for ramping up production, currently, their facility is apparently running 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week. “We are absolutely doing everything we possibly can” to keep the Burger King rollout moving, Impossible CEO Pat Brown told the site. But hey, what they’re losing in potential sales, they’re at least somewhat making up for in free advertising.