This is a message to all restaurant owners: Start thinking outside of the box!
We're living in 2017; We're more advanced than we have ever been in history. Veganism is growing at an unprecedented rate and plant-based food options are available anywhere & everywhere. However, despite all of this, stepping foot into a restaurant or eatery with no vegan options is far from uncommon.
It happens quite a lot; I'll meet my college friends at what seems like a popular cafe for our weekly catch up. They will seat us, hand us our menus and then almost immediately ask us if we'd like a coffee to start with. I'll subtly ask for an almond chai latte, to which they'd smile and nod. Great start. I'd then glance at the chunky menu and to my dismay, there'd be no plant-based options at all. Not even a vegan salad! No, I don't want chicken or fetta cheese in my pre-made salad. I don't want cheese in my smashed avocado and I most certainly do not want a nothing burger. That's literally the alternative I was offered; no beef pattie and just two buns with lettuce and tomato. My friends keep throwing banter my way and I'm always the odd one out, eating a joke of a dish.
Restaurant owners: Here are the hard facts- veganism is growing. And as veganism grows in popularity and gains more influence, more plant-based people will be attending your restaurant or cafe. The growing demand for plant-based options is becoming a real thing and it's not wise to ignore an approximate 6% of your clientele (the number is even higher in some cities).
And really, we're not asking for much. For every kilo of cheese that you purchase, buy an additional 100g plant-based cheese. For every 20 beef patties that you order, get another 5 veggie patties. Heck, you want to go that extra mile, invest in upskilling your chefs and encouraging them to undertake a plant-based cooking course. If there are none in your area, you can find them online. Forks over Knives offer a first rate plant-based cooking course as well as acclaimed plant-based chef Chad Sarno. There really are no excuses.
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ARE BECOMING VEGR'S FOR A REASON!
Also, understand that you really aren't doing us a favor. If you don't cater to us, we'll simply not attend your restaurant and organize our catch ups elsewhere. Hey, it's a free country and you're free to do as you wish with your business. The biggest beneficiary out of this is you. By merely adding an additional item to your menu, you're significantly exposing yourself to a new niche market. You're increasing the likelihood vegans will visit your eatery. It may not seem like a lot, but I have casually noticed, through my personal observations, that restaurants that also cater to the plant-based community tend to on average be busier. Also, we vegans love to brag about our newly discovered plant-based dishes. We're a loquacious bunch and we'd be more than happy to recommend you to our friends.
I'm presuming you're out there to do what's best for your business. Don't limit your target market by alienating a group of people. If plant-based alternatives weren't so accessible and affordable, I wouldn't be bothering you with this, but ordering plant-based ingredients is as easy as a few casual clicks.
Restaurant owners: Get with the times. Open your minds.
Do what's best for your business.
- Dan Murphy
Become A Part Of The Unique Journey That's Going To Change The Plant-Based Community Forever. It Only Takes 7 Seconds!