Lana Weidgenant collected nearly 20,000 signatures on a petition to advocate for vegetarian sandwich options at Dunkin'.

Photo: Dunkin'

You've (probably) already heard the news that Dunkin' is creating a vegetarian breakfast sandwich with Beyond Sausage, but there's a whole lot more to the story. While Dunkin' was likely considering adding a meat alternative to their menu at some point, thanks to the surge in popularity of products like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, a petition was what finally got the ball rolling.

Johns Hopkins University student Lana Weidgenant created a petition about a month ago, asking for Dunkin' to add Beyond Sausage to their menu. Dunkin' was Weidgenant's favorite breakfast spot growing up, but since she became a vegetarian for ethical and environmental reasons, she was no longer able to enjoy some of her favorite foods there.

Weidgenant asked readers to sign her petition that encouraged Dunkin' to follow in the footsteps of other major chains-specifically the Canada-based Tim Hortons-in expanding their menu with vegetarian meat substitutes. The petition quickly reached almost 20,000 signatures, and garnered the attention of Dunkin' execs.

This morning, Tony Weisman, chief marketing officer at Dunkin', tweeted the following picture at Weidgenant, saying "We heard you:"

"Customers want choices and we are seeing more and more campaigns asking restaurants for plant-based options. This is more than just a passing fad," said Tegan Gregory a senior campaigner at "Diets are evolving and Dunkin' did a great job of listening to Lana and thousands of customers by adjusting their menu to fit plant-based or flexitarian diets."

Unfortunately, you can only find this new Beyond Sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich in Manhattan for now, but the company does have plans to roll out this new menu item nationwide in the future, according to a press release. They are the first U.S. restaurant chain to offer Beyond Sausage, and we're sure they won't be the only one for long!