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Nov 30, 2021

Expanding Vegetarian and Vegan Options for Old School Restaurateurs: How to Make Changes Without Changing What Works

Changing Times, Changing Tastes: Can An Old Restaurant Learn New Tricks?

You’ve noticed that more diners are interested in vegetarian and vegan menu options lately, but you have just one problem. You’ve been running your restaurant for a long time and you’re set in your ways. Your customers like your menu and the quality items on it. They have certain expectations of consistency when they dine out in your establishment.

So can you change your menu by offering vegan items? You can, and you can do it without messing up what already works for your restaurant.
Change Doesn’t Have to be Painful. We’ll Show You How.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

Obviously, you can’t refresh the whole menu and change everything. For a place like yours, that could be a disaster. Instead, keep the items that do well and begin offering a vegetarian or vegan option in addition to it. If you sell a burger, think about offering a vegetarian option like a black bean burger. You could also experiment with “Impossible” or “Beyond” burgers of course. A vegan option that’s similar to what you already offer will please vegan diners and could also encourage regulars to expand their palates.

Think about your menu items carefully and consider whether a meat-free option could work for any of them. Would a substitute like tofu, tempeh, or seitan work with some of your dishes? Learning how to cook with some of these meat-free options can help diversify your menu and attract more vegan customers.

Offer More Sides

You can also expand your offering of vegetarian and vegan options by offering more side dishes and shares that are free from meat and dairy. This won’t intrude on your regular menu, and it gives you and your cooks a bit of leeway to experiment with new ingredients and craft new dishes. If an item doesn’t take off with diners, it’s easy enough to take off the menu.

Introduce Seasonal Items

You can also add some seasonal items to your menu. You can make vegan or vegetarian dishes with local ingredients, which can be a big selling point, and add to your menu without interfering with what your restaurant already has to offer. A seasonal menu can also keep diners coming back often to see what’s new, but your regular diners will know that you always have the traditional menu items ready to go for them!

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you’re really old school and flying completely blind here, don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are plenty of people working in the restaurant industry who have experience making vegan and vegetarian dishes. Many people have experience marketing to vegan and vegetarian diners. If this is a growing segment of potential customers in your area, it’s completely worth it to ask for help or bring on people who have experience marketing to these diners.

For More Tips on Courting Vegan and Vegetarian Diners

If you want to learn more about how you can attract more vegan and vegetarian diners to your eatery, we can help. Visit the Organic Restaurants website and learn more about the latest dining trends!

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