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Gone are the days when vegan options were few and far between. Now there are plant-based alternatives aplenty — and we’re not talking about tofu turkey. From fresh takes on American favorites like corn dogs and burgers to veggie-forward dishes, vegan options are anything but limited. And as plant-based options continue to grow in popularity, restaurants are figuring out how to “meet” the demand. Check out tips on how to satisfy vegan eaters and increase your sales to boot.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Your menu staples stay in style for a reason. Instead of reinventing the wheel and coming up with new recipes again and again, don’t totally stray from the classic menu items that work for your customer base. Rather, take advantage of widely popular vegan “meat” substitutes to spruce up your existing menu. The formula for the favorites is clearly working, so just add a plant-based take to them. Doing this will save you time and money you’d otherwise burn trying to perfect and popularize completely new vegan dishes.
Have a specialty.
While you don’t want to overhaul your whole menu, it’s a good idea to offer a vegan specialty that’s uniquely yours. With plant-based options becoming more popular, even for non-vegans, it’s worth your while to create a vegan dish that sets you apart from the pack. Upping your vegan game beyond the fan favorites — even if it’s just for one or two entrees — conveys the sophistication that customers nowadays crave. And not only that, it’ll boost your reputation for offering inspired, healthier alternatives, which is what restaurant-goers are increasingly demanding.
Stay current on trends.
To stay competitive, you’ve got to stay up on the latest and greatest in culinary trends. Strike a balance between relying on classic menu items that work and adding trendy twists. For instance, lean into the global flavors trend by offering Mediterranean sauces and vegetarian toppings to a pizza option. Or give a nod to the farm-to-table movement by sourcing local produce for the freshest, in-season salads. Whatever the latest trends are, stay on top of them and see how you can tweak your menu to give it fresh flare.
Step up your equipment.
The right equipment can make your life easier when it comes to the perfection and production of plant-based dishes. On the one hand, you need cooking equipment that can meet the demand of vegan eaters from a production standpoint. But on the other, you also need to ensure you have equipment that can cook those vegan options with precision. That’s why Ovention’s Shuttle 2000® is just the ticket when you want to up your vegan game. Its dual-capabilities allow the best of both worlds. You can use customized settings in “shuttle mode” to prepare plant-based options with cooking precision, but also maximize throughput with traditional conveyor capabilities for busy, high-volume periods.
Whether your staff solicits feedback tableside, or you monitor comments on your social media accounts, get feedback from your customers to find out what’s working — and what’s not. Pay close attention to their feedback so you can tweak your menu and production plans accordingly. If customers know they’re heard and see that you’re striving to keep them happy, they’re more likely to come back.
Put a spin on one of the staples.
By taking these steps, you can capitalize on the vegan craze. But while you’re at it, you can also spruce up the classically popular items. If you’re looking for new menu item inspiration, check out our round-up of pizza trends.
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