3 Ways to Adapt to the Plant-Based Food Trend
As the plant-based food trend continues on its rapid, upward trajectory, more and more restaurants are gearing up to meet changing demands. Sales of plant-based alternatives grew 17% over the past year, while overall U.S. food sales rose only 2%. Grubhub’s “2018 Year in Food” report saw vegan-friendly bean burritos and buffalo cauliflower spike in popularity. Red meat, however, did not make the list. These numbers mean one thing: the plant-based trend is more than a fad.
Historically associated with veganism, plant-based foods have gained mainstream traction in recent years
Engaging a growing base of vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian diners may seem like a daunting task, especially for a steakhouse or BBQ brand, but it’s a great way to get a larger variety of customers in the door. Below are three ways to get on the plant-based wagon without diverting from your bread and butter.
Include Plant-Based Offerings on Your Menu
Sometimes a salad just doesn’t cut it. With a little innovation, you can create a hearty meat-free meal that complements your traditional fare. Meat-centric brands, such as TGI Fridays and Burger King, are getting creative with their menu offerings to attract plant-based diners. At TGI Fridays, you can now order a realistic plant-based burger made from Beyond Meat and served up with a heap of fries. Burger King recently announced a partnership with Impossible Foods; they plan to roll out plant-based Whoppers nationwide after their St. Louis pilot went “exceedingly well.”
A complete menu overhaul isn’t necessary, and small inclusions can secure a loyal fanbase. Faux fish, seitan steak, and BBQ jackfruit are great offerings to entice current and new diners.
Label Menus and Increase Visibility
Before you jump to the drawing board, don’t overlook what you already have on your menu. Taco Bell, the first American Vegetarian Association certified quick-service brand, has long been a
Labeling items on your menu is a great way to accommodate not only
Capture Customer Data and Market Accordingly
It’s easy to identify those guests
Enable your guests to identify their dietary preferences when signing up for your loyalty program or placing an online order. At Taco Bell, vegetarian or vegan customers can order online through a webpage organized just for them,
Don’t forget to evaluate the performance of new items. By prompting feedback in-store or through your digital channels, you can see which items are making an impact and which ones need tweaking. Including vegan options to your menu is about more than simply covering your bases — it’s about driving sales.
As 2019 continues, more restaurants will introduce plant-based options
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