As 2019 draws to a close, let’s take a look back at the vegan cuisine trend that took the dining industry by storm this year. U.S. consumers spent a whopping $3.3 billion on plant-based foods last year. Are you worried about your restaurant fitting in with this new trend? Good news! You don’t need to be a vegan restaurant to convince vegan diners to make your spot their home. If Burger King can do it, so can you. Here are a few ways to start.
Updating Your Menu
To jump on the vegan train, you will first and foremost have to (of course) offer some new tasty dishes to get vegan mouths watering. A few popular plant-based dishes to ease into your establishment’s vegan journey are crispy buffalo cauliflower bites, cucumber-melon soup, potato pancakes, pesto, and other tasty kinds of pasta, many varieties of quesadillas, vegan banana bread, and for dessert, chocolate mendiants. Peruse recipes and see what fits your restaurant’s vibe.
Learn About Veganism
Walk the walk, but also talk the talk about veganism! Learn more about the lifestyle to impress your customers by showing them your animal-conscious side. As San Francisco-based restaurant consultant Andrew Freeman puts it, “It isn’t just about animal welfare but about what’s good for the environment and what’s good for us without sacrificing flavor or presentation.” He adds that chefs are now putting more effort into vegetable preparation, so even though every dish may not be vegan, there are increasingly more delectable plant-based options available.
Embracing the Plant-Friendly Vibe
Exclusively vegan restaurants tend to have a vibe you would expect to find in hipster metropolitan areas such as Brooklyn and certain parts of California. Depending on how heavily you plan to embrace the plant-friendly cuisine, update your restaurant’s vibe to feel fresh and nature-friendly. Consider adding more healthy plant decor and even serving your vegan dishes in sustainable dinnerware, such as dishes made from organic materials such as bamboo and cork.
Conclusion: There are over 24,000 vegetarian-friendly restaurants in the U.S., including at least 1,474 vegan restaurants. As more healthy eaters try out the vegan lifestyle or at least try it out temporarily, make sure your restaurant is in on the health – and the fun!
Challenge: As the new year begins, search what other restaurants in your area are doing to include vegan palates. Don’t be too much of a copycat, but draw inspiration from what others have discovered works.