Offering vegan options in your restaurant/hotel/shop

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Victoria W, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. Victoria W

    Victoria W UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I am doing some research about restaurants that a) serve only meat based menus, b) those with vegetarian options, but dont do vegan.

    How do you feel about serving vegan food?
    Do you know what is and is not vegan?
    Would you like to know more, but dont know where to start?
    What other constructive comments do you have regarding vegan customers/menus etc?

    Thank you for your help.
     
    Posted: Jul 22, 2018 By: Victoria W Member since: Jul 22, 2018
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  2. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Ace Full Member

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    I’d have thought most restaurants these days would offer a vegan option (though it will usually be just a token dish)?

    By definition, a meat-based restaurant will be primarily targeting carnivores, the veggie/vegan option is just there to placate groups where one member is veggie.
     
    Posted: Jul 22, 2018 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
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  3. Victoria W

    Victoria W UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    FRom experience, this is certainly not the case. Most places offer a vegetarian option, of sorts. Few places offer vegan and yet it is growing massively. So, do the services not know how much it is growing and the potential they are missing out on, or do they not know what to cook? Ideally you make it interesting enough for any customer.... but these are the things I am trying to find out from their point of view. Thank you for your input.
     
    Posted: Jul 22, 2018 By: Victoria W Member since: Jul 22, 2018
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  4. obscure

    obscure UKBF Ace Free Member

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    As a carnivore married to a vegetarian I know that most places offer one or two token vegetarian dishes. Usually past or rice with either mushrooms or cheese. The cheese renders any dish non-vegan. Quite rare to find places that offer well thought out vegetarian, let alone vegan dishes.
     
    Posted: Jul 22, 2018 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
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  5. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Rare enough to find places offering sufficiently carnivore dishes. The number of places insisting on adding vegetables to a meat dish...
     
    Posted: Jul 22, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  6. Victoria W

    Victoria W UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    As a near life long vegetarian and five years vegan I do agree. I am interested to know why these places are not aware of the huge growth in the market, future predictions and the potential. Do they just not understand how to do the food? Are they not aware of how good it can be?
    Thanks for your input.
     
    Posted: Jul 22, 2018 By: Victoria W Member since: Jul 22, 2018
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  7. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Ace Full Member

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    It’s a growing but niches market, and there is a growing number of restaurants catering for it (none of whom would contemplate offering a token meat dish)

    The challenge facing mainstream restaurants is that they need to find their niche whilst simultaneously accomplishing vegans, veggies and multiple intolerances and allergies
     
    Posted: Jul 23, 2018 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
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  8. Nico Albrecht

    Nico Albrecht UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

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    The reason is that there are 2 problems you have, problem one you have not enough vegetarian / vegans to make it worth your while to offer a full line off dishes to the same standard. A chef that is not trained for that and value per customer. A meet eater will be more likely to spend more money and has a higher value. You need a higher density of veg / vegans to make it worth for any restaurant. Also keep in mind ideally you want to run 2 production lines in the kitchen to prevent cross contamination in one way. Meat to veggies. The other group will be fine with it. So you would run 2 production lines with a 98% / 2% percent split. This simple would not be economical. Same goes for all this healthy crap **** going on at the moment. You do a research and ask people do you want more healthy options in a Restaurant and 9 out of 10 will say yes , great we want it but in reality that 9/10 customers will go to a restaurant to order the junk food because they actual want it. Similar thing.
     
    Posted: Jul 23, 2018 By: Nico Albrecht Member since: May 2, 2017
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  9. JEREMY HAWKE

    JEREMY HAWKE UKBF Legend Full Member

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    Where are you based if your in a city centre you might have a good chance If your in the countryside where they eat wild board alive you may struggle
     
    Posted: Jul 23, 2018 By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008
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  10. Victoria W

    Victoria W UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Thanks. I am not planning on running a restaurant, but to offer education and training with vegan food. Many dishes can be made that suit both vegetarians and vegans and even omnis who are cutting down. It should be be totally practical, particularly given the growing market not just in veganism but the need to cater for food allergies and intolerances.
     
    Posted: Jul 24, 2018 By: Victoria W Member since: Jul 22, 2018
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  11. Victoria W

    Victoria W UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Thank you Nico. Are you in the catering business? As a vegan I know we often end up paying just as much as meat eaters for food that willl cost the restaurant less, so I do not think that meat eaters, necessarily bring in more money, Your point about the chef not being trained is probably very valid. Obviously restaurants have to cater for the possibility of cross contamination anyway, dont you think?
     
    Posted: Jul 24, 2018 By: Victoria W Member since: Jul 22, 2018
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  12. Victoria W

    Victoria W UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I think they are missing the fact that they can cater for all of these things in one meal. Vegan meals can be made to be very meat like, gluten free and always suitable for vegetarians and various religious preferences. It is highly adaptable. I just don't think people who are not vegan realise this and see it as a restrictive diet, rather than one full of variety with proven health benefits. Getting this message across is clearly a challenge.
     
    Posted: Jul 24, 2018 By: Victoria W Member since: Jul 22, 2018
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  13. Nico Albrecht

    Nico Albrecht UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

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    I dont think you are in the restaurant business and just a consumer having all those good ideas. The dynamics for vegans simply don't work in a meet serving restaurant. Fact is if there would be a bigger market for vegans and vegetarian you would have more restaurants offering it. The market is tiny and not worth it atm. You making up that 1% of customer with the same expenses.
     
    Posted: Jul 24, 2018 By: Nico Albrecht Member since: May 2, 2017
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  14. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    I saw a restaurant advertising itself as vegan a couple of years back. The next time I went through that city it had closed down.
    Its possible it didn't have sufficient custom. Could as easily have been any of a dozen other problems.
     
    Posted: Jul 24, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  15. Nico Albrecht

    Nico Albrecht UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

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    Your observation is correct and they probably didn't get enough customers. By 2022 the UK + Ireland are the most obese countries in Europe which shows a trend to people eating more junk food than ever before and have 0 interest in healthy options. customers will tell you in a survey they want more healthy stuff but ultimately in a restaurant 95% will go for the junk food. Also I think the vegetarian section is well covered with Indian restaurants who simply have better veggie options. Same goes for McDonald most people say they don't go to them but the reality is the are one of the biggest food producers in the UK which means they actually have many customers. Also the less disposal income you have available the more likely you will eat that. It can be the other way around for example Berlin. Berlin is offering very customized catering for vegans and vegetarians with many restaurants to choose from but the density of people and high available income in Berlin is one of the reasons that they can exist.
     
    Posted: Jul 24, 2018 By: Nico Albrecht Member since: May 2, 2017
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  16. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Ace Full Member

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    @Victoria W I’m afraid I think yo7 are coming at this from the wrong angle

    The key to success in any business is to select and ta4ge5 a defined niche markets

    There is definitely a market in veganism. There is also definitely a growing market in healthy plant based food (let’s not pretend that vegan per se is healthy)

    So you need to be finding out where that market is and how to attract them

    If your mission is to inform and re-educate meat-eaters, you will have a lengthy, time-consuming and financially battle on your hands or, to put it another way, you will go bust
     
    Posted: Jul 24, 2018 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
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  17. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    I remember doing a New Years Eve dinner years back for 10 of us, including 3 vegetarians, one vegan and 6 others. The big problem I had is that it is perfectly possible to cook a tasty, interesting, vegan dish, which would have catered for everyone. But, when I discussed possible menus there were 3 people who insisted that, as far as they were concerned, a meal wasn't a meal unless it included meat. One of the vegetarians insisted she could not possibly eat vegan and everyone else was politely prepared to try anything, but not very happy at the idea.

    We managed with 2 starters 3 main courses and various desserts.

    As an omnivore I was very worried about the smell of cooked meat in the air - I would have thought a vegetarian or vegan would have found that offensive.

    People paying for a meal want to be able to order something they know they will enjoy. Until people get used to vegan food at home they are very unlikely to order it in a restaurant.

    I don't understand the OP's comment 'Few places offer vegan and yet it is growing massively.' What is growing massively? People demanding vegan options on menus or people claiming amongst groups of friends that they often eat vegan? If restaurants had customers leaving because there was no vegan option, there soon would be vegan options, but it certainly isn't happening here in the north east. Here it is hard enough to get anything but the token vegetarian dish.
     
    Posted: Jul 24, 2018 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
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  18. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    I'm with the 3 people insisting on meat.
    When I go out with vegan friends we'll arrange in a restaurant or pub not to sit next to each other for a meal but trying to impose meal choices would not be on.
     
    Posted: Jul 24, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
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  19. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Ace Full Member

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    Which in a sense would vindicate what the OP appears to be aiming for.

    The challenge is that properly catering. For all categories leads to a rambling, unfocused business
     
    Posted: Jul 24, 2018 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
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  20. Employment Law Clinic

    Employment Law Clinic UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

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    Vegans can't eat a bacon sandwich (or indeed any sandwich with butter); can't enjoy Sunday roast beef, or even the Yorkshire pudding; are missing out the delicacy that is frogs legs; their diet even means no poached egg on asparagus spears. Where do these non-vegan people get their ideas from that it's a restrictive diet ? :rolleyes:

    If you were to highly adapt veganism to accommodate the above, I'd consider being a vegan too.

    Or perhaps some people simply don't care - we've got the message, balanced the facts, and made our choices.


    Regardless, I thought this thread was about finding reasons restaurants didn't often provide for vegans, not getting a message across about any benefits of a vegan diet.

    It's a growing market, but still a small one, and people will make their choice for many different reasons. As said above, restaurants have to accommodate for more than a very small niche, and consider the cost for this category of customer. Do a lot of vegetarian restaurants have a vegan menu? I'd expect they're more likely to be accommodating than many.



    Karl Limpert
     
    Posted: Jul 24, 2018 By: Employment Law Clinic Member since: Aug 10, 2009
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