Introduction – Alternative Meat Trend
Blink and you can miss many of the trends passing through the restaurant scene. In an effort to distinguish themselves within an evermore competitive market, many restaurants experiment with passing fads. To protect the investment this requires, it is important to evaluate the fad before adopting it. There is strong evidence to support the supposition that the alternative meat trend is here to stay, and your restaurant should consider incorporating it into your menu.
Check the Numbers
According to research conducted by The Dining Alliance, the sale of alternative meat options through restaurants jumped 268% within the last year. This spike in interest cannot be ignored. Your guests are clearly identifying a strong preference. Globally, alternative meat sales hit 19.5 billion. According to the Vegan Society, vegan options are searched three times as much as other popular meal alternatives, such as gluten free or vegetarian options. These statistics point to longevity of general interest.
Look to Society
We live in a sustainability-conscious society. This is reflected in everything from pop-culture to legislation. Advancements in science generate increased attention to sustainability, and these scientific developments are ongoing and fast-moving. Societal values show no indication of veering away from strong support of sustainable practices, and plant based meat is a prominent factor in that movement.
Assess Your Situation
When making decisions for your restaurant based on national or global data, it’s important to include the microcosm of your restaurant’s particular situation in your assessment. Do you have the resources to incorporate a new, expensive line of alternative meats? More importantly, does your client base express an interest in alternative meat options? Would a significant percentage of the surrounding population be interested in alternative meat options? These are important questions to weigh in the balance. Begin tracking the requests you receive for alternative meat options. Administer surveys within your current client pool to gauge their interest. With this information in hand, you will be better able to make a practical decision for your particular situation.
Many fads are a waste of time and resources. However, there is value to evaluating long-standing fads to assess whether or not they would benefit your restaurant. Ultimately, you will have to make a decision based on the evidence and a little bit of faith.
Challenge: Create and administer a survey for your guests to gauge their interest in meat alternatives.
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