Josh Lucas on the Death of His Fast Food Dreams

Lest you think Ronald McDonald is a benevolent jester who just wants you to have a happy meal, know that he’s just the guise in which an evil empire disguises itself to appeal to the kiddies. Just ask actor, health nut, and Box partner Josh Lucas, who was basically strong-armed by Ronald and his goons out of offering up a healthy alternative to McDonald’s gunk. Mighty’s was to be the actor’s gift to us ordinary folk who can’t afford to eat organic all the time. But when prices got too high, and Ronald reared his grotesque head, Lucas’ dream basically died.

So what happened with Mighty’s? Mighty’s is in kind of a stuck phase right now. There’s a really cool restaurant down in the Lower East Side called Broadway East, and Ron Castellano, who is the guy that put that restaurant together — him and I are friends, and Mighty’s got stuck because we ran into the problem of not being able to actually get a menu that was as inexpensive as we wanted, using local, self-sustained, organic, food. A restaurant like Broadway East could do it, because their price point was a lot higher. Oddly enough, I gave a lot of our research and information to Ron and a lot of those things were instilled in Broadway East. But in terms of its being a fast food restaurant, we just can’t figure out how to make it financially possible.

Were you looking to have several locations? Well we wanted to start — actually it would have been Seattle — and our goal was to have a drive-through, and have it be exactly the same as a McDonald’s, except we knew we’d have to be a dollar or two more expensive per item, but we couldn’t figure out even how to do that. And McDonald’s is such a monopoly right now that they went so far as to buy our name — they literally attacked us to an extent.

Have you been to Better Burger NYC? Yeah, I love that place. I ate there yesterday, oddly enough.

Was your menu going to be similar to theirs? They’ve actually done a really good job of it. They haven’t done exactly the same things as we wanted, and that’s because you really can’t right now. We wanted to use free range produce and some of those things are just not yet possible. I think maybe in ten years, as the food world changes. Have you read The Omnivore’s Dilemma?

No, I haven’t. I think as the world becomes more aware of what’s happening in the food industry, people are going to demand that food changes and once that happens, prices of food will change as well. Right now, organic food is incredibly expensive, particularly meats, so if you’re saying that you want to have a competition with McDonald’s, you know McDonald’s meat is the cheapest in the world and probably the most unhealthy in the world, so we weren’t even capable of competing with that.