From the environment to health concerns to simple curiosity, there are many reasons behind the recent rise in flexitarians. And just in time for this growing trend, there’s also a brand new category of flexitarian-friendly food that’s versatile, easy to work with in the kitchen, and good to eat. From a chef’s standpoint, this is an exciting time to add something new to your repertoire. Make room for plant-based meat alternatives, and let’s get cooking!
1 - Spread the Word
|2 - Introduce Foods Gradually|
3 - Highlight on the Menu
Diners in your area are probably already looking for meat alternatives, so make sure they know you offer them! Consider adding signage in your restaurant and/ or using social media to call attention to new offerings.
|Try a two-step plan where you begin by modifying your customers’ favorite dishes, such as chili sin carne, spaghetti bolognaise, etc. Start with what your customers crave and show them how delicious it is, even as a plant-based option. Then branch out into more creative plant-based dishes for your customers to try.|
List plant-based meat alternatives alongside meat-based proteins in your menu so diners can find them easily and understand their options. Consider adding a statement like, “Make this dish vegetarian / vegan by choosing…”
4 - Make Dishes Dazzle
|5 - Train Your Staff|
6 - Offer Samples
Since it’s a brand new category, some customers might approach these foods with a more critical attitude. You can break down these barriers and win them over by pulling out all the stops to make dishes made with meat alternatives visually appealing and delicious.
|Educate your servers about which dishes can and cannot be made using meat alternatives. Prepare them to answer questions about the taste and texture of these foods and how they compare to real meat, and remind them to ask guests about food allergies before serving.|
Consider introducing these items to diners with a complimentary appetizer. Think quesadillas with crumbles, nuggets and dip, or flatbread with toppings. You might also plan a special tasting event for new menu items.