plant-based menu

3 Ways to Make Your Plant-Based Menu Approachable

Why do customers choose a plant-based diet? Some choose it for health reasons, and others might choose it because it’s a more planet-friendly approach to living. Many plant-based diets consist of low cholesterol, high fiber foods and are 10x better for the environment – have you heard of the word sustainability?

Sustainability is a huge approach many consumers are working towards and as an operator, it’s important to show transparency in your sustainability efforts to help build brand awareness and meet your guests’ desires. Including plant-based dishes on your menu is an excellent start.

The main types of plant-based diets are vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, and flexitarian (semi-vegetarian). Does your restaurant have plant-based options to support these different diets?

Here are three ways you can make your plant-based menu more approachable:

Use Sustainable Ingredients from Popular Brands

Familiarity is key. Not everyone will be open to trying plant-based dishes, especially if you’re using ingredients they don’t recognize. This is why it’s important to include ingredients from popular brands like Tyson Raised & Rooted, PAOW, Impossible, Gardein, and Violife. Giving guests a sense of familiarity will help them overcome that feeling of hesitance and unwillingness.

Plus, you’ll be doing the planet a favor. A 2021 study states that 57% of global greenhouse gas emissions of food production come from meat and dairy products. When you swap out your usual meat and dairy ingredients with plant-based alternatives, you significantly reduce the percentage of food-related greenhouse gas emissions.

Adding sustainable ingredients from popular brands on your menu gives you the best of both worlds. You’ll be sure to amplify your bottom line with customers inclined to eat plant-based foods while also helping protect the environment.

Impress Guests with New Textures and Flavors

Did you know that 42% of consumers are more likely to try a new or unique flavor from a restaurant than when cooking at home? Or that on average, consumers order new or unique menu items from restaurants more than 25% of the time? These statistics come from the Novel Menu Trends presentation hosted by Technomic at the May 2022 National Restaurant Association Show.

Taste and texture are important in all types of food, plant-based or not. When you implement new items on your menu, you open the door to ideas and experimentation that will attract guests, old and new!

It’s no secret that plant-based foods are specifically produced in a way to look like, feel like, and even taste like food that comes from animals. When you give consumers that reassurance, it makes it easier for them to be more open to trying plant-based dishes.

Emphasize the Importance of Health

There’s a myth that plant-based diets don’t offer the same health benefits as animal-based diets. In fact, studies show that reducing or eliminating meat consumption can lower the risk of illness and disease.

Plant-based diets are rich in antioxidants, proteins, calcium, and other nutritional value. They improve the health of your gut and even help reduce inflammation.

Protein is important and some may say that eating plant-based means you’re not getting enough of it. We’re here to tell you that just because your protein isn’t coming from animal meat, doesn’t mean you’re not getting protein.

Protein can be found in lentils, beans, seeds, and nuts – and that’s only to name a few.

Trading meat out for tofu or bean/veggie based “meat” is a great place to start. Your consumers get the protein they need while eating a healthier meal. And don’t forget, meat doesn’t always have to be the center of the plate. You can toss up a salad and top it with tofu instead of chicken or steak or create a taco bowl with plant-based meat. There’s a variety of ways to switch up your guests’ favorite meals with plant-based alternatives.

Become a Dining Alliance Member for Plant-Based Savings!

At Dining Alliance, we’re determined to help you thrive in the foodservice industry. Incorporating plant-based dishes onto your menu can get pricey but as a Dining Alliance member, you get access to exclusive savings on popular brands like Tyson Raised & Rooted, PAOW, Impossible, Gardein, and Violife.

Become a member today to get started on introducing plant-based dishes to your menu!