Vegan diets focus on eliminating all animal products, usually with the ideology that the food industry mistreats animals in the process of producing the foods. Vegans are vegetarians who also avoid dairy, eggs, and honey. Catering to vegan diets can be challenging for food businesses that are not vegan restaurants, since the ingredients that can be used are rather limited. Vegan diets are one of the rising culinary trends, and therefore food businesses should weigh how to appeal to those who follow the trend. On the bright side, in terms of both raw and vegan diets, most restaurants already offer foods such as salads and soups which follow the diets’ guidelines. However, with the rise in these culinary trends, restaurants may want to consider doing more to appeal to vegans.
Offering the Best for Last
The most problematic course for vegan diets is dessert. Chocolate mousse, crème brulée, cheesecake, and ice cream all contain dairy and/or eggs, making them unsuitable for vegan diets. . Vegans and those who follow the raw food diet are often subjected to the typical fruit salad for dessert. However, the chances of a customer being tempted into ordering a fruit salad, simply because there are no other dessert alternatives, are not very high. Instead, or in a addition, restaurants can create unusual sorbet flavors, offer fondue with vegan dipping options (no marshmallows!), whip up a raw food chocolate mousse on an avocado base, and experiment with vegan ingredient substitutes, in order to adapt some of their dishes. An added bonus to creating vegan desserts is providing options for lactose-intolerant diners, making the challenge even more worth undertaking.
Unlike desserts, many menu items for the main course can easily be adapted to vegan diets without sacrificing on taste. Though some foods, such as homemade pasta, taste significantly better when made with eggs, others, such as focaccia dough, taste almost exactly the same when the eggs in the recipe are substituted with extra water. In addition to slight recipe changes, kitchen staff should accept special orders. For example, they should be willing to prepare pasta and pizza dishes without cheese. Printing this option on the menu will help attract vegan and lactose intolerant diners.
Though cooking vegan food to compete with the rising number of vegan restaurants sounds intimidating when all the restrictions are listed, offering vegan dishes is actually rather simple for restaurants. Small changes can be made to existing dishes, and a few new dishes can be added to the menu, instantly offering many options to vegan diners. A small symbol can be placed on the menu to highlight vegan foods. The trickiest part to catering to vegan diets and similar culinary trends, is finding dessert options that meet the requirements. By offering a few interesting, non-dairy, egg-free options, restaurants can boost their dessert sales and profits by allowing vegan and lactose-intolerant diners to order more menu items. The rise in vegan diets and other similar idealistic and health-conscious culinary trends make it well worth it for restaurants to tweak some menu items to meet the standards of the various diets.