Increasingly consumers are seeking a lower-impact, more sustainable way of eating. This focus is long overdue. The average American man eats nearly double the protein he needs, much of that in animal protein, which has a heavy impact on the environment. Beef production requires 20 times the land and emits twenty times as much greenhouse gas as plant-based protein sources.
How can restaurants take advantage of this mindset?
Veggie burgers have been around for decades. They are made from a variety of plant-based products such as soy, black beans, and chickpeas. The latest entry to this category is the Impossible Burger, which is gaining traction even among meat-eaters. Being able to earn market share in the traditional meat-eater category presents a huge opportunity for this industry.
Whether they are lactose intolerant, vegan, or have other reasons to avoid animal produced dairy, consumers are increasingly turning to non-dairy products such as almond, soy, or oat milks. Experiment to find the most popular alternatives in your area and add them to your menu. This is especially important if you offer specialty coffees.
This growing trend reflects consumer interest in knowing what they are putting into their bodies. This informed consumer wants products to contain as few ingredients as possible and simplified language rather than inscrutable terminology. They look for items with minimal additives, no allergens, and avoid food with GMO origins.
Burgers are not the only place for vegetarian or vegan alternatives. Non-animal substitutes are available for deli meats, pizza toppings, cheese, chicken, ground beef, and even jerky. Experiment to find what may work in your restaurant. These items don’t have to taste like meat, but they do need to be tasty. Research proper preparation and try them in dishes that are not meat-forward for the best results.
Educate Your Customer Base on New Options
It’s great to offer new alternatives on your menu, which is what a lot of restaurants and establishments will do. How can you take that to the next level? Educate your customer base on why you are making the changes.
Explain the latest trends in the industry. Share knowledge on why these options are healthier. Conduct surveys and share the data. Collect testimonials and feedback from your top customers on how you’ve adjusted to meet their needs.
Keep up with Changing Consumer Demands
Horizon Hospitality can help your restaurant keep up with this growing dining trend by recruiting restaurant managers savvy to this ever-shifting market. Our restaurant recruiters identify and attract industry leaders to manage every aspect of your restaurant, hotel, or resort. If you need to add to your restaurant management team, contact our restaurant recruiters today.