New Report Eggsposés Urgency For U.S. Restaurants To Honor Cage-Free Egg Commitments As 2025 Deadlines Rapidly Approach

The Humane League, a global nonprofit that exists to end the abuse of animals raised for food, today releases the Cage-Free Eggsposé, an annual report to hold U.S. restaurants accountable to their cage-free egg commitments and inform consumers of which brands can be trusted. According to the egg industry itself, “2024 is the equivalent of ‘the witching hour’ for U.S. egg producers in the industry’s shift toward cage-free egg production,” as nearly every food company has a fast-approaching deadline to remove cages by 2025 or 2026. As a result of increasing consumer demand, state legislation, and corporate policies, more than 40% of egg-laying hens are free from cages in the U.S.—a significant increase from just 10.5% in 2014. While major restaurant brands successfully source only cage-free eggs, others are misinforming customers with unrealized commitments.

“This year’s Eggsposé is more than a progress report; it’s a call for immediate action. As consumers want responsibly sourced food and investors demand transparency, the clock is ticking for brands to meet their self-imposed deadlines for removing cages from their egg supply chains,” says Kelly Myers, Senior Director of Corporate Engagement, The Humane League. “We’ve seen strong momentum away from cruel cages and we applaud the companies that have made genuine progress towards higher animal welfare. We urge restaurants that still allow the extreme confinement of birds in their supply chains—a practice so cruel that it has been criminalized in 11 states—to follow through with transparency and action.”

The Eggsposé aims to foster corporate accountability, examining the state of the industry’s movement away from cages. It compares brand names across sectors, including dine-in, drive-thru, and a fast food face-off. The report celebrates brands like McDonald’s and TGI Fridays for successfully transitioning to cage-free systems, both ahead of schedule. Direct competitors, like Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s, Burger King, Dunkin’, P.F. Chang’s, Subway, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, and Taco John’s, are skirting responsibilities and lagging on cage-free progress, raising consumer concern about lack of transparency and cruel treatment of animals. 

“I’ve been a loyal customer of Subway for years, but learning that my favorite lunchspot might not be honest about their cage-free promise is upsetting,” says Lisa Scharin, a concerned consumer in Greenville, SC. “If Subway is not being truthful about its animal welfare policies, what else is it lying to customers about?”


The Eggsposé reveals that the following brands, among others, lack corporate transparency in failing to report public progress toward their cage-free egg commitments:  


Chick-fil-A (pledged in 2016 to go cage-free by 2026)

Subway (pledged in 2015 to go cage-free by 2025)

Carl’s Jr (pledged in 2016 to go cage-free by 2025)

Hardee’s (pledged in 2016 to go cage-free by 2025)

Taco John’s (pledged in 2016 to go cage-free by 2025)



P.F. Chang’s (pledged in 2016 to go cage-free by 2025) 

Ruby Tuesday (pledged in 2016 to go cage-free by 2025)

Chopt (pledged in 2019 to go cage-free by 2023)

Golden Corral (pledged in 2016 to go cage-free by 2026, now 2025)

Pei Wei Asian Diner (pledged in 2017 to go cage-free by 2025)


Cage-Free Leaders

The Eggsposé applauds the following restaurant leaders, among others, for successfully transitioning to 100% cage-free eggs in the U.S., setting a higher standard for ethical sourcing in the industry, and aligning with the growing consumer and investor demands for more responsible and sustainable practices.

McDonald’s (100% cage-free in the U.S., two years ahead of schedule)

Starbucks (100% cage-free in the U.S., since 2023)

Taco Bell (100% cage-free in the U.S., since 2016)

TGI Fridays (100% cage-free in the U.S., since 2019)


Increased consumer concern about the archaic conditions faced by chickens in cramped, wire cages, with no room to spread their wings has led to the growing demand for cage-free eggs. Over 520 U.S. businesses have made public commitments to eliminate caged eggs from their supply chains, and transition to source 100% cage-free eggs. Further, 11 states have passed laws regulating the production and/or the sale of eggs from hens raised in cages, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington. According to, “[restaurants] operating in these states must be prepared to comply with these laws to avoid civil fines, criminal animal cruelty charges, and in some cases, jail time.”

The Humane League calls on all restaurants to eliminate cages from their supply chains and to be transparent by publicly disclosing their progress to consumers and stakeholders along the way. For more information, please visit To take action for animals, please visit

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