Whether it’s based on health, morality or a combination of the two, the number of consumers opting for a vegan diet has increased markedly around the world. As of 2018, the UK has seen an increase in the number of people adopting the animal-friendly diet, with 3.4 million Britons now identifying as vegans.
As a business owner, it’s important to consider whether embracing veganism is a positive or negative choice for your business. Here’s a list of pros and cons to consider.
A new marketing opportunity
The link between the growth of veganism and social media is undeniable. To put this into perspective, the hashtag ‘vegan’ has been used over 72.5 million times on Instagram so far. Tapping into this opportunity is therefore a great way to promote your business. By posting a snap of a great-looking vegan dish teamed with #vegan, you are becoming visible to potentially a whole new customer base. This will encourage people who enjoy a plant-based diet to visit your venue.
A great training opportunity for your staff
The number of customers opting for vegan dishes is rising, with 40% of Brits revealing that they have chosen a vegan option while eating in a pub or restaurant, according to recent research by the Meatless Farm Co. Having the ability to cater to this growing demand is vital in ensuring that your restaurant keeps up to date with the latest consumer trend.
However, if your chef is not trained in the culinary art of constructing vegan dishes, this is a great opportunity for you to develop your staff and offer them the chance to learn a new range of cookery skills - in turn benefiting your business.
Potential increase in footfall
Over recent years, there has been a rise in people choosing to eat more consciously, whether becoming completely vegan, cutting out meat from their diet or simply reducing the amount of animal products they consume. This provides operators with an opportunity to refresh their menus by adding a selection of vegan and veggie dishes. This balanced approach can boost footfall to your venue, but also drive profit because you are catering for a larger range of potential customers.
What if it’s a passing fad?
Though it is widely believed that veganism is the mainstream diet of the future, there are no guarantees. A crucial attraction to veganism is the health benefits. However, some research suggests that a vegan diet may not be as healthy as social influencers are leading consumers to believe. With this in mind, it’s worth taking a cautious approach when looking to develop a new vegan menu, training staff and investing in marketing for a food trend that may not be as popular in five years’ time.
Additional costs for your business?
Ensuring that all the food that you serve is 100% vegan can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Animal-based products, such as gelatine, can easily be accidentally used in a vegan dish. Caution is required and this may mean that you need to hire a vegan-specific chef, or train your current chef, both of which will add additional cost for the business.