Increasingly, diners are turning to a plant-based diet. Citing lack of dining-out resources in many cities, they choose to eat at home. If you can provide dishes that are both plant-based and delicious, you can make loyal followers of vegan diners and expand the palettes of customers who had no idea that meat-free dishes could be so tasty.
Why do consumers enjoy vegan cuisine?
Ethical reasons. Many vegans choose a plant-based diet because they prefer not to eat animal proteins or wish to reduce their carbon footprint.
Health reasons. Recent studies by the American College of Cardiology have shown plant proteins to be significantly more heart-healthy than animal-based proteins.
How large is this market?
In the U.S., six percent of the population now identify as vegan, which may not sound like much until you note that this is an increase of 500 percent since 2014 according to research provided by GlobalData. Going meat-free has been identified as the number one trend in prepared foods.
How can you add vegan cuisine to your restaurant?
Offer dairy-free options. Milk, cheese and butter can be replaced with nut milks or nutritional yeast.
Use tofu as a blank slate. It’s just waiting to absorb flavor. Try different flavor profiles and cooking methods to find the most popular among your customers.
Forget the meat swap. Plant-based proteins are plenty and flavorful. They include nuts, seeds, soy and beans. They are not meat – attempts to imitate meats are invariably disappointing. Let the flavors of plant-based proteins stand on your own.
Think bowl, not plate. Sometimes a vegan meal served on a plate seems like it’s missing something. A bowl makes a natural vessel for meat-free meals like burrito bowls or veggie chili.
Watch for hidden animal products. If you are not vegan yourself, it’s easy to absent-mindedly add a meat-based product to a vegan meal. Maybe you use chicken broth instead of vegetable stock. You could forget that gelatin is an animal product. You could even brush butter on a tofu dish waiting for pick-up just out of habit. Be vigilant and train your staff to do the same. Lose the trust of a vegan and they won’t be back. And they will tell their vegan friends.
Keep up with the latest.
Want to be on the cutting edge of restaurant trends? Need managers who can help your staff adapt to what’s going on in today’s restaurant business? Give Horizon Hospitality a call. Our restaurant recruiters are true industry experts. They can ensure you know what’s happening in the industry and always have access to top candidates.