Bumbling Bee from Shark Tank

Bumbling Bee shark tank

Cassandra Ayala and her daughters run their vegan fast food business, Bumbling Bee, in Virginia and Colorado. They have curated lots of vegan fast food recipes and added their magical spin to the boring vegan foods.

What is Bumbling Bee?

Bumbling Bee is a vegan junk food company that aims to crush the stereotypes around vegan foods being bland and tasteless. They serve a variety of food options from burgers, hot dogs, nachos, and fries, all cruelty-free and completely vegan.

What Makes Them Unique?

Bumbling Bee is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant that aims to serve tasty vegan fast food. The vegan milkshakes taste even better than the dairy ones, the fries are super crispy, and the burgers and other food are enriched with seasoning, which makes it a delicious option in the vegan foods category.

Are They Still an Active Company?

The company is still in business and received a lot of positive feedback on Yelp and Facebook. The two restaurants are active, and food trucks show up at lots of breweries from time to time.

How Did the Shark Tank Pitch Go?

Cassandra and India Ayala made an appearance on the show in season 12, seeking $150K for 10% of their company. They explained the concept behind their vegan junk food products and how it caters to vegans, vegetarians, or people who like to add lots of greens to their everyday meals.

They needed help from one of the Sharks to bring their products across the country. The Sharks were impressed by the tasty vegan meals, and the duo explained how they had won an award for the best hot dogs in their area.

Bumbling Bee had two restaurants in Virginia and Colorado. Cassandra was a real estate investment broker and moved a lot of houses with her husband. At the beginning of 2019, they decided to become a vegan company after the real estate market crashed. Cassandra invested her money in a hot dog cart, where things escalated, and she moved onto a trailer and then a food truck.

She already had four running trucks for her business when she realized her daughters weren’t passionate about the business. That is when Cassandra added vegan junk food options to her menu because her daughter Lexi was a vegan as well.

Kevin was curious to know how they managed to operate four trucks with the pre-tax profits, and Cassandra explained that they had a 15% margin. They had established a brick-and-mortar restaurant last October.

Robert inquired about the sales in the previous year, and Cassandra responded that they had made $194,000 with just one truck that worked part-time and one brick-and-mortar. They were expecting even better sales that year since they had already earned $324,000 from the Virginia Beach and the Colorado restaurant, which opened in January that year.

The Sharks appreciated Cassandra for her passion and drive. Daniel, however, felt like there wasn’t any strong stimulus for him to make an investment. He wasn’t drawn to the company, and for that reason, he was out.

Mark also pointed out that there wasn’t anything remarkable about their company that was not impossible to copy. He appreciated their execution style and relentlessness in making it work. Cassandra made a connection to McDonald’s and how anybody can copy their food products as well. Mark explained that Bumbling Bee wasn’t in such a position that they couldn’t be bothered by somebody else copying their food menu.

Robert also agreed that he had seen a similar concept in California which doesn’t make Bumbling Bee the first company to come up with vegan fast food. The company hadn’t reached a scale that would make it a good investment for him, and for that reason, he was out.

Lori thought they shouldn’t focus on spreading their business but rather stay at a solid location and make a name. She wasn’t going to invest either.

Kevin remarked that he understood the circumstances that moved Cassandra to single-handedly run this business for her family, but the numbers she mentioned were not investable. He thought that she needed to make at least $500,000 per location of her business and that too with a 20% pre-tax profit.

He wasn’t going to let his emotions coerce him into making a deal that didn’t have any economic sense. That was the reason he went out.

Cassandra and India invited all the Sharks to come and eat at their restaurants and received good wishes from all of them.

Our Review of Bumbling Bee

Vegan dishes are generally not considered to be as delicious as foods with meat and dairy products. However, Bumbling Bee is a standout in the vegan fast food department as their food is richly seasoned and tastes even better than the normal fast food options.

The plant-based diet balances the junk food aspect of their foods, as the menu is filled with healthy foods that don’t taste dull and uninteresting.

The staff at the restaurant makes sure that all the customers are left satisfied with their food and customer service. The food trucks show up at breweries around town, which serve great vegan food options for customers who cannot find a variety of good vegan fast food in restaurants. Their famous Mother Clucker burgers were absolutely worthy of our money.

Pros of Bumbling Bee

  • Bumbling Bee lets the customers order from their website
  • Perfect food menu for vegan customers
  • The food is well-seasoned and doesn’t taste like bland vegan dishes
  • Their food trucks arrive at several breweries that make it easier for people to try out their special recipes.

Cons of Bumbling Bee

  • The price is a bit high for a fast food company.

Who Is Bumbling Bee For?

Bumbling Bee is one of a kind restaurant that caters to the fast food cravings of vegan lovers. Vegan dishes generally don’t taste as good as those rich with meat and seasoning, but Bumbling Bee aims to provide a rich experience to let the vegan lovers know that their taste buds will be satisfied by the time they will finish one of their delicious burgers or hot dogs.

Are There Any Alternatives?

  • Plant Power Fast Food
  • Next Level Burger
  • HipCityVeg
  • Burgerlords
  • Meta Burger

Our Final Thoughts:

There is a lot of competition in the vegan fast food department for Bumbling Bee, as the vegan movement is rapidly growing. Despite the increasing challenge and no investment from any of the Sharks, Bumbling Bee continues to grow and serves lots of returning customers on a daily basis.