As my job entails putting together an advisory magazine that has a national readership, it’s imperative that I regularly remove myself from the London bubble in which I reside, before declaring any food and drink trends as relevant to the whole of the UK. Naked restaurants, axe-throwing bars… that type of thing – business styles that won’t necessarily work on the outskirts of Skipton.
I’ve been mindful of this when talking about the rise in veganism through the pages of Pub & Bar. Are the noteworthy numbers applicable to counties and towns across the UK, or are plant-based diets reserved for those living closer to trend-setting cities? It is now clear that veganism is no longer a trend exclusive to the bohemian indies of this industry. We know that national pub and restaurant brands enhanced their vegan options long ago, but there are still a number of independents and multiple operators lagging behind and, as a result, losing custom.
There are now world-famous figures promoting the benefits of a plant-based diet to millions of people around the globe – Lewis Hamilton, Beyonce, Joaquin Phoenix to name but a few. Not only are these celebrities shaping the mindsets of their young fans, but they’re also altering the choices of those who were previously set in their ways – i.e. your customers. If you haven’t adapted your operation, now is the time. Since World Vegan Day two years ago, orders of plant-based dishes on Deliveroo have risen by a massive 330%. It’s only going to get bigger.
To help our readers out, we’ve put together a vegan-based menu development feature in this issue (page 32
), where we speak to Christa Bloom, co-founder of the legendary vegan street food operation, Biff’s, about developing menus for today’s vegan clientele. It’s a fascinating read, full of top tips and advice that can really help create or fine tune a plant-based menu in the on-trade. And, despite what our front cover suggests, it goes beyond slapping some smashed avocado on a slice of toast. Enjoy the issue.
Tristan O’Hana - Editor