Should all restaurants provide vegan options?
Lydia Carter discusses the practicality of all restaurants introducing vegan options, and if it should even be a priority.
Veganism seems to be taking the world by storm. With 2% of the UK population as vegan, and 10% of the us choosing vegetarian options, we seem to be turning towards plant based products more than ever before. Does this mean that we should force all of our restaurants and cafes to provide a vegan option to cater to this growing demand?
With 2% of the UK population as vegan, and 10% of the us choosing vegetarian options, we seem to be turning towards plant based products more than ever before.
With the new Taco Bell on Sidwell street opening up this month, many of us rushed there in excitement. However the lack of vegan food available there excludes a range of Exeter students on a hungry prowl after a night out. If catering establishments were required to provide a vegan option, it is most likely to work in their favour.
Undeniably a vegan diet is hard – from more expensive milks to alternative butters, it would not be cheap for a restaurant to start providing vegan options. Nonetheless, vegan choices mean that groups of diners can make bookings all together, regardless of their meal preferences. This would boost the company’s profit massively as it would allow for a larger table and more purchases.
Vegan food is a smart move for businesses whose customers are flexitarians, preferring to opt for a light vegan salad, even if their diet is not strictly vegan. It can be quite simple to make a dish vegan by simply changing a few items. Additionally, vegan supplies often have a longer shelf life than meat, fish or milk. Almond milk can last for months whilst cow milk will only last a week or so.
Perhaps first we should encourage restaurants to prioritise making gluten free or dairy free options for people with allergies that they cannot control.
However, to make it a legal requirement that veganism is catered for could prove to be massively inefficient. Establishments like steakhouses or fish and chip shops are unlikely to benefit from vegan options. Their priority is to serve excellent battered fish (like Sidwell fish and chips) or a gourmet steak. In most cases, veganism is a lifestyle choice. Perhaps first we should encourage restaurants to prioritise making gluten free or dairy free options for people with allergies that they cannot control.