Slutty Vegan is coming out with a drive-thru at one of its locations for customers who want their food quick and easy. But first owner and CEO Pinky Cole has to deal with the media uproar caused by a lawsuit from one of her former employees.
Cole is facing a recent lawsuit filed in December by one of her former workers. Morgan Georgia says she worked at Bar Vegan for over two years and that the restaurant paid tipped employees, like herself, $2.13 an hour and required them give up 25% of their tips, Atlanta Business Chronicle reported.
Georgia is suing Cole and other owners over unpaid wages at one of her businesses, claiming the restaurant paid her less than the federal minimum wage.
Cole Responds to Lawsuit
In an Instagram post on Jan. 11, Cole noted that a scheduled interview with the “Today Show” had been canceled over the media backlash from the lawsuit. So, Cole used the post to issue a response to the lawsuit.
She wrote: “Since I was a kid, I have only operated with integrity. I don’t lie, I don’t steal and more importantly, I DON’T PLAY WITH PEOPLE’S MONEY. Maybe it’s the Caribbean in me, but God won’t bless you when you operate in a fraudulent spirit.”
She continued, “This week, I was named in a lawsuit for one of my companies, Bar Vegan, alongside my partners, over alleged unpaid wages from one employee. Again, ALLEGED. Up until this point, I was not familiar with this ordeal or the employee, because I don’t run day to day operations at Bar Vegan…My lawyers have advised me not to comment on this, but now my reputation is being compromised and I’m being removed from an opportunity that I worked my entire life for.”
Drive and Go
A drive-thru will be a first-ever for the Black-owned vegan fast food chain. The first location to get a drive-through will be its upcoming site on 2329 Manchester Expressway in Columbus, Georgia, once the restaurant is done being built later this year, What Now Atlanta reported.
“We’ve been thinking about a drive-thru for a while,” Cole told What Now Atlanta before she previewed her drive-through in a Facebook post.
The Dec. 30 post, which featured a rendition of the drive-thru, read: “Hey big head, we just got our plans back for our first EVER Slutty Vegan DRIVE THRU!! Do you like it? Let us know what you think in the comments!! 500 comments and we’ll tell you what city this will be in.”
According to LoopNet, the supposed drive-through location used to be a Chinese carry out generically called Chinese Restaurant Express or China Express on some web searches.
The map of the abandoned lot also shows that the Columbus location, which is 107 miles southwest of Atlanta near Georgia’s border with Alabama.
Slutty Vegan Success Story
Slutty Vegan has quite the success story: The food business started out as an Instagram-based delivery service in 2018, transitioned into a food truck service, and then it became a restaurant with a physical location. Now, there are several brick-and-mortar locations, and founder Cole, whose net worth of $5 million, has inked a number of outside business partnership.
Her vegan food triumph led to paying off her student loans at Clark Atlanta University, the creation of scholarships for juvenile offenders, and providing the children of police brutality victim Rayshard Brooks $600,000 in scholarships to CAU, Forbes reported.
Things have only got better for Cole’s business empire, which has four metro Atlanta locations of Slutty Vegan and one in Brooklyn and in Birmingham, Alabama, as wells as a vegan CBD gummie and a vegan lipstick line in collaboration with The Lip Bar.
One of Slutty Vegan’s latest unveilings is the introduction of its new plant-based chili, and as Finurah previously reported, a funnel cake product in collaboration with Angela Simmons is on the way. And she recently dropped her first book, “Eat Plants, B*tch: 91 Vegan Recipes That Will Blow Your Meat-Loving Mind.”
It is reported that Cole’s Slutty Vegan business is valued at around $100 million, and by the end of this year she’s slated to have 25 locations of Slutty Vegan nationwide, according to The Beet.