Vegan food is becoming increasingly popular in London. From street food and market stalls to high-end restaurants, vegan eateries are popping up all over the place.
The number of British vegans has increased by at least 360 percent over the last ten years as more people choose a lifestyle that avoids animal products. The trend is driven by a combination of factors, including the perceived health benefits of a plant-based diet and a growing concern for the well-being of animals. Young people in particular are turning to veganism, and by far the majority of vegans reside in built-up areas. This suggests that there are great opportunities for restaurants that are willing to cater to this growing sub-group of the population.
Veganism goes mainstream
Veganism has sometimes been criticised as a restrictive and somewhat extreme dietary regime, but attitudes are changing. Most supermarkets are now stocking a comprehensive range of vegan products, and a growing number of cafes and restaurants on the high street now offer vegan menu items. Pret A Manger, the sandwich and salad chain, recently announced that one of its branches in Soho would trial limiting its menu to vegan and vegetarian food for a month during June. Depending on the outcome, further branches may adopt this meat-free model.
Vegan restaurants have traditionally been viewed as the less glamorous end of the restaurant business, but that is rapidly changing. Michelin-starred chefs including Alexis Gauthier of Gauthier Soho and Theo Randall of The InterContinental are introducing vegan menus. A vegan since 2015, Gauthier says that he has observed a significant shift in guest behaviour. This year, he says, restaurants are selling more vegan tasting menus than traditional ones, and more and more vegan customers visit every week.
Many restaurants are seeing the commercial advantages of providing a comprehensive vegetarian or vegan menu. Of course, to do this effectively, cross-contamination must be avoided, and equipment used for preparing meat should be completely separate from the meat-free range. Catering companies such as https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk have a good range of commercial catering equipment, such as ovens, microwaves, and disposables.
It is very likely that as consumers become more aware of the reality of the farming industry and the health implications of meat and dairy products, the boom in vegan eating will continue.