Going Green with Vegetarian Dishes
Menus with no vegetarian dishes are a thing of the past. And it’s not just vegetarians who are hungry for some meat-free options too.
According to the Vegetarian Society’s Big Veggie Survey, vegetarians account for nearly two billion pounds worth of food eaten out – yet 75% admitted they are still unhappy with the choices on offer.
“For far too long vegetarians have been expected to be grateful for pasta and tomato sauce,” said Liz O’Neill from the Vegetarian Society. “As more customers choose not to eat meat it’s the restaurants with variety and an imaginative menu that will survive.”
More non vegetarians are incorporating aspects of the diet into their own because it’s generally lighter and healthier, as more people review their meat intake.
Making a profit
Adding a couple of vegetarian dishes to your menu can boost your profit margins. Sausages and mash costs approximately £3 per portion but a portion of ratatouille is as little as £1 – but could be sold starting at £7. Jesse Dunford Wood, chef and owner of Parlour in Kensal Green, London says,
“It is a little more difficult to be creative with vegetarian food, but it is great for food margins, and very satisfying to get carnivores to wax lyrical about meals with no meat.”
Top Tips from the Vegetarian Society
1. Don’t be cheesy
An obvious meat replacement, it can be heavy and too calorific. Plus, not all cheese is vegetarian.
2. Keep it simple
Mushrooms on toast with garlic and butter is a winner. Some of the best vegetarian dishes contain only a few ingredients.
3. Alcohol check
Many alcoholic drinks, such as beer and wine, will have been clarified/ stabilised (fined) using animal derived products so check with your supplier for suitable options.
4. Menu presentation
Don’t isolate, but incorporate vegetarian dishes in the general menu.