ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Daniel Teahan and Kyle Thordahl think they might have the next Chipotle or Panera Bread — a fast casual restaurant concept with major growth potential.
Pulse Burger, the University of New Mexico students say, will resonate with those who consider not only their health but the health of the planet when eating out. Pulse specializes in beef-free patties made from the likes of beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas (and sometimes chicken), meaning they have less cholesterol and fat than a regular hamburger and also a lower impact on natural resources like water.
“We like the effect it can have for people’s health and the environment; we’re just really passionate about both these things,” Teahan said. “In addition, we think it could make a lot of revenue.”
Their confidence is built upon months of consumer surveys, financial modeling and other research completed as part of the University of New Mexico’s Business Plan Competition. Seventeen teams entered this year, vying for nearly $100,000 in total prize money across two divisions: one for technology and another for more general entrepreneurial ventures.