Here is a situation that might sound familiar. Your foodie friends are stoked after hearing amazing reviews of a trendy new restaurant in town, and of course you want to go along for some good wine and bites. You get there, study the menu, and you find there are no “V’s” (vegan symbol) to be found and hardly any plant-based options. WTF?! So you end up cobbling some items together, and as per usual, your order starts with: “Um, is it possible…”
If this situation sounds all too familiar, you are not alone. The reality is, we live in a world where still “V” offerings, or a dedicated vegan menu, are not always top of mind for restaurants and chefs.
In the face of growing consumer demand, and shift to people choosing establishments that offer plant-based options, restaurants need to practice 'inclusive dining.' The concept is simple: Restaurants offer dedicated plant-based options on their menu (or a separate vegan menu). This is not a movement of (or for) vegans, plant-based eaters, meat eaters, dieters or any other group. It is a necessity and benefit for people of all food preferences.
While an optimistic outlook might be that this will happen over time, one has to remember that change happens when you ask for it. (And this is one of the things we do here at PlantBasedPopUp.) There are plenty of restaurants from San Diego to New York that still don’t offer an inclusive menu. And the reality is, your friends, boyfriend, etc. don’t always want to go to a “vegan restaurant.” People still love their meat, but there is also a growing wave of people that are vegan and plant-based, OR just want these options on the menu. Even carnivores that are presented with an alternative often go for it. (Just look at the explosion of the Beyond Burger, which is really targeted to meat eaters, and is now being served by restaurants across the nation.)
How can you help make change? Ask for it. Reach out to a restaurant that you want to see more dedicated vegan/plant-based options. Or ask them to carry a plant-based protein burger or dish. They win. You win…your boyfriend wins.
You can also ask through public sites like Yelp! and via their social media channels. Also, send them to our plant-based education fact page HERE.
There is a reason Forbes and HuffingtonPost called 2018 ‘the year of the plant.’ Now, as we take off in 2019, let’s work together to accelerate the “inclusive dining” movement.
(Chefs/restaurants, what’s in it for you and need some help? Find out HERE.)
***If you are not already subscribed to the PlantBasedPopUp dinner invite list, please do so HERE. We are getting ready to launch the next set of dinners that are sure to be amazing. Stay tuned!***