Meat is losing its mainstream appeal as consumers increasingly choose plant-forward meals. Vegetarians have been around for a long time, but restaurants have not kept up in what they offer diners. To attract those consumers who choose plant-based meals, you need to offer better choices than salads and mac and cheese. Vegetarians and vegans have money to spend on dining out. If you want to capture this growing market, you need to add enticing plant-based foods to your menu.
People choose to become vegetarian or vegan for a variety of reasons, from heath or religious issues to a desire to create a smaller carbon footprint. It’s important to learn to work with plant-based foods to integrate them into your menu, not just add a handful of vegetarian options to the bottom of your menu.
How can you capitalize on the opportunity to be had by offering plant-based meals without alienating your existing diners? It comes down to education; taking the time to educate both yourself and your staff. Read information from credible websites, watch documentaries and read books that feature information about plant-based diets and offer recipes. “Forks Over Knives” offers all three and is a great starting point.
Plant-based meals don’t have to be difficult to incorporate into your menu, it just takes a little creativity and understanding of plant based proteins. Consider different global cuisines that are primarily vegetarian such as Indian, Ethiopian and some Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures. Adopt some of their practices and flavor profiles to create flavorful dishes that will appeal to even meat eaters.
What kind of opportunity does the plant based market represent?
According to Mintel Global Market Research:
- 35% of Americans get most protein from sources other than red meat.
- 83% look to vegetarian options to improve health and nutrition.
- 62% are adding plant-based foods to their diets for weight management.
One of the best ways to introduce plant-based menu items is by hiring people who are already familiar with plant based menus. That’s something that Horizon Hospitality can help you with. Our restaurant recruiters work closely with establishments that are ready to take on the latest industry innovations and are searching for top talent to help them succeed.
If you’re searching for in-demand professionals for your restaurant or hotel, contact the hospitality recruiters at Horizon Hospitality today.