The rise in demand for vegan meals has made it clear that veganism is not just a passing fad, but a lifestyle choice that is here to stay. One report notes that even non-vegans are looking to have more plant-based meals in their diets. Thus restaurant owners have to find sustainable ways of making their menus inclusive to accommodate vegan and health-conscious diners.
Improve your current menu
To make your restaurant vegan-friendly, start by assessing your current menu. There may be dishes that you can convert to vegan just by removing the animal-sourced ingredients and substituting with plant-based options. For example, you could replace cow milk with soy, rice or nut-based milk. You may even find that vegan dishes are less expensive to make than beef or chicken meals.
Do your research
If you are looking to add new items to your menu, find out what your customers would like to eat. You can ask for their suggestions through your social media channels. This is a great way of engaging with your customers and for getting information that allows you to give them the food that they want.
Engage with your wait staff and find out from them what plant-based meals your customers would like. Since they converse with customers more than you do, they would be in a better position to know what your customers want.
Adding vegan meals involves more than just swapping meat with vegetables, you also need to train your staff on how vegan food is prepared and which suppliers to order from. Have conversations with your suppliers to find out if the products they use don’t contain any animal products.
Once you have ensured that your meals and processes are vegan, you should apply for vegan certification from the relevant bodies such as the American Vegetarian Association. Having the certification will give your restaurant more credibility and help you build trust among your customers.
Inform your customers
When you have decided on which vegan dishes to add, you should let customers know about your updated menu. This can be done through your social media channels. Showing pictures of your new dishes on platforms such as Instagram will help customers visualise your offering. You should also update your website and other platforms where your restaurant has a presence, such as Yelp and TripAdvisor.
Conducting regular reviews of your menu will help you find out which of your vegan dishes customers like and what improvements you may need to do. Ask your customers for feedback and be flexible enough to change if you need to. Adding vegan meals to your restaurant will help your restaurant business to survive, thrive and keep up with customers’ changing needs.