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The vegan market is a growing market in 2018 with more younger people turning to a plant based diet

And whilst Supermarkets are falling over themselves to win vegan customers at times restaurants can feel a little mute on the year of the vegan

Just 2 stats for you

* 987% spike in demand for plant-based foods over the past year – The Vegan Society
* 45 percent average annual growth of food and beverage launches with a vegan positioning – Innova Market Insights

So with more people choosing Vegan options here is How to market your restaurant to Vegan Consumers

Angkor Soul Vegan

1. Think Like A Vegan Consumer
By thinking like a vegan consumer I mean you need to think like a consumer

Think about your average customer that visits your restaurant and what they want

They want choice, originality and a reason to make a repeat visit to work their way through the menu

It’s the repeat customers that grow your business

So don’t just put one token obvious vegan option on the menu and hope people will keep coming back for your “one dish” restaurant

Offer a variety of starters, mains and desserts that wow people not just once – but 3, 4 or 5 visits over the next year

2. Post Your Vegan Options on Social Media
Over the years I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of restaurant and over the past 8-12 months there’s been one significant trend

The vegan / dairy free / plant based options attract more people tagging their friends in that meat based dishes

You’re looking to attract social media engagement and you’re looking to attract new customers, so don’t just place a big photo of a Meaty Sunday Roast (and in the small print put vegetarian / vegan options also available)

Be proud of your vegan options and show them off in glorious instagramable glory

We’re a friendly bunch which will tag our friends in and we’d love to support your independent restaurant as well as supporting the chains who spend marketing their vegan options

Vegan Breakfast Oxford Road Cafe

3. Have a Separate Vegan Menu
Phrases I’ve heard a lot since making the move from vegetarian to vegan

“Most of our vegetarian dishes can be made vegan”

“If you let our staff know when you arrive we can rustle something up vegan”

Why not streamline everything you do so you don’t have to spend the time answering FAQ’s at best and lose customers at worse

Think about the amount of staff nights out or group nights out where the party organiser simply wants to see in an instant that you offer a full vegan menu for a couple of their guests

Having a separate vegan option that highlights everything you offer has been used to great effect by chains such as Zizzi – why not learn from someone doing it well on a national level

4. Invite local vegan influencers for tasting nights
I can guarantee whichever town in the UK you live in there will be what we call Hyper Local or Micro Influencers

There are people on social media who traditionally have 10,000 follower or less, but who have a highly targeted group of local followers who listen to what they say

They’re relatively easy to find on a local Twitter or Instagram hashtag search and they’ll be the ones where every foodie photo is a vegan option

DM them or find their email and ask them to come down for a “bloggers” or “locals” tasting session on the house so they can show off the range of vegan options you have

Do this every time you offer a new vegan dish or menu launch and it will work out cheaper than an advert / advertorial in the local newspaper

Happy Cow
5. Encourage Reviews on Happy Cow / TripAdvisor

You’ve got your mainstream audience who love TripAdvisor

And you’ve got your audience that see Happy Cow as the Vegan Bible App for discovering authentic views of vegan options at restaurants

Make sure you’re listed on both and make sure you care enough to talk to your customers

Have a genuine discussion about how the meal was and what vegan options they love to see at restaurants

And when they say how wonderful your restaurant was – don’t be afraid to ask “Can you please review us on Happy Cow / TripAdvisor”

Chat to us about Social Media for YOUR business, so we can better understand YOU and what will grow your business

We can only find out what is unique to your business by chatting with you

Look at our Social Media Training and Social Media Management services


Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email

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Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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