A rendering of True Food To Go.
True Food Kitchen

True Food To Go will feature a walk-up counter and pickup shelves. 

A Look at True Food Kitchen's Upcoming To-Go Location

The quick-service prototype will have some of the brand's classic menu items, but also some exclusives, like spiked slushies. 

True Food Kitchen's entrance into quick-service is moving closer to reality.

The better-for-you chain recently revealed that its first takeout-only location—called True Food To Go—will open in Tempe, Arizona, this summer. It will be close to the campus of Arizona State University. 

The space will feature a walk-up counter, self-checkout, and pickup shelves for online orders. For dine-in customers, there'll be indoor and outdoor seating and a grassy area for picnicking. 

“We are thrilled to bring our first takeout-only location to Tempe, as part of our ongoing efforts to provide True Food Kitchen fans with even more ways to enjoy our brand,” CEO John Williams said in a statement. “Tempe is a vibrant, thriving city close to our brand roots and we are excited to become part of the community. This new takeout location will allow us to offer our delicious, handcrafted food and beverages to more people in the greater Phoenix area.”

True Food Kitchen
True Food Kitchen

Several of the brand's typical dishes will be served at the new location, including a variety of health-driven starters, salads, sandwiches, and bowls. Other items will be exclusive to True Food to Go, like flatbreads, build-your-own protein plates, and a selection of breakfast items available all day. In terms of beverages, the store will serve slushies, with the option to spike each one. These alcoholic beverages, in addition to beer and wine, will be available for off-premises, as well. 

The update comes a little more than six months after True Food Kitchen announced it accomplished a $100 million-plus funding round, the largest investment in company history. The fundraising was spearheaded by existing partner Centerbridge Partners, a private-equity firm managing approximately $34 billion in capital and one that previously owned P.F. Chang's for six-and-a-half years, and newcomers HumanCo and Manna Tree.

True Food Kitchen is the latest of several casual-dining chains opting for quick-service operations, mostly due to rising off-premises sales and growing construction costs. Others playing in the space include Buffalo Wild Wings, IHOP, Hooters, P.F. Chang's, TGI Fridays, and Friendly's. But that's not to say True Food Kitchen is straying away from dine-in. Last year, the company opened a 11,291-square-foot unit in Miami that holds 385 seats. 

The NextGen Casual has 43 full-service restaurants across 17 states. The brand was founded in Phoenix in 2008 based off of Dr. Andrew Weil's food pyramid. Known investors include Oprah Winfrey and Starbucks cofounder Howard Schultz. In March, the chain announced Williams—the former CMO of Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar—as its new CEO, replacing Christine Barone.