WANT TO GIVE YOUR MENU A
Try these quick tips and tricks for adding and marketing plant-based options .
Many existing recipes can be modified by simply substituting plant-based proteins. Try replacing dairy milk with plant-based milks at a 1:1 ratio. Have a signature hamburger? Try adding a plant-based version, like a Beyond Burger or Impossible Burger, where you just swap the patty.
Avoid describing dishes as plant-based, vegetarian or vegan. Instead use descriptive words. Think Crispy Chickpea Sliders with Crunchy Coleslaw instead of Vegetarian Sliders. Or Spicy Moroccan Lentil Stew instead of Vegan Lentil Stew.
Feature Familiar Faves
A great way to get your guests trying plant-based foods is to serve familiar dishes they already know and like. Fresh spins on traditional comfort foods are guaranteed to get customers excited. Try, for example, spicy black bean burgers, creamy cashew mac ‘n’ cheese (using cashew cream instead of cheese), savory lentil shepherd’s pie, coconut milk ice cream.
Integrate, Don’t Separate
Instead of having a designated plant-based section of your menu, include plant-based and meat-based dishes together. Consumers will be more likely to try something new if it’s mixed in with the usual offerings.
Change Up Choices
Replace the least-popular meat options with new, exciting plant-based choices. If you aren’t sure what your guests will like most, introduce a few new offerings at a time, until you have a list of tried-and-true best sellers. Aim to always have at least two fully plant-based options in each menu category, from appetizers to sides, from mains to desserts.
Use your menu to draw attention to the fresh, healthy ingredients in your new nutrient-dense dishes, encouraging customers to make the smarter choice. Display signage or table tents highlighting how your plant-powered meals are high in protein and have zero cholesterol.
Research suggests that consumers choose better foods based on ease of access. Put plant-based meals front and center, so consumers see them first. You can also boost sales of a plant-based option by making it the default choice – have your daily special or plate of the day be meat-free, with meat being an added option instead of the default.
If consumers aren’t reaching for your plant-based items, give them extra reasons: offer discounts on plant-based options or use a punch-card to reward patrons with a free meat-free meal after 10 purchases. Try Meatless Monday promotions with buy-one-get-one offers on plant-based options each Monday.
Plant-based meals usually cost less to make than their meaty counterparts. Meat-free entrees can be far less expensive, adding up to thousands of dollars in savings per year. Offset rising meat prices by offering heart-healthy, protein-rich options like three-bean chili and black bean burritos. Take a few minutes to calculate the difference between your new veg dishes and existing meat ones, and let the numbers speak for themselves.