Veganism is on the rise and it’s a great time for restaurants to up their game and get in on this burgeoning food trend. From humble origins in the 1980s as a fringe movement, the vegan diet has become increasingly popular. There has been a huge spike in the numbers since 2016 of people in the UK and across the world identifying as plant-based eaters. In the UK alone around 7% of the population are choosing to shun animal products in their daily diet, with many more reducing their intake of meat significantly. So, what does this mean for the restaurant industry?
The rise of plant-based diets - For many years the choice for vegetarians in many restaurants has been limited to plain pasta dishes and salads, with vegans barely catered for. Today, vegan food is everywhere, from cafes to markets and even in supermarkets, meaning more choice for consumers and more opportunities for ambitious restaurants. 51% of chefs in the US have brought vegan items to their restaurant menus to meet customer demand, and both sit down and takeaway options in the UK are growing every day. From trendy food pop-ups in Shoreditch to high street chains and cafes, there are options for everyone.
People choose a vegan diet for a number of reasons, usually around animal welfare and environmental concerns. The benefits of plant-based eating have been amplified through social media influencers and by positive coverage in mainstream media. Recent campaigns like Veganuary, which encouraged people to pledge to be vegan for the whole of January, resulted in 168,000 people signing up in 2017 alone.
Vegan food in the UK - As demand grows, new vegan restaurants are opening up all over the UK. But there’s plenty of space for existing businesses to get in on the action. Bg chains such as Pizza Express, Leon and Wagamama have introduced vegan options alongside their regular menu. Doing this helps to attract new customers and keep hold of those existing ones who have switched to a plant-based diet. This summer a panel of experts at the London Produce Show Foodservice Forum found in their discussions that plant-based eating is here to stay.
Once you have your vegan menu and you’re attracting customers, make their visit extra special by furnishing your restaurant with stylish, quality dining tables and chairs. Get in touch with our team to update your look today!