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Thriving in the Vegan Revolution: A Guide for Australian Hospitality

Once considered a mere trend, veganism has blossomed into a lifestyle choice in Australia. The past few years have seen a remarkable surge in people adopting plant-based diets and reducing their consumption of animal products.

friends enjoying food in a restaurant

Vegan Australia estimates that there are between 400,000 and 500,000 vegans in the country, a number that continues to grow steadily. It is estimated that about 12.1% of the Australian population is now all or almost vegetarian for various reasons, from health concerns and lifestyle changes to animal cruelty and their environmental impact, and the step to veganism is not that far from there.

In the context of the hospitality industry, being inclusive and adapting to trends is not just a matter of following the latest fad; it's a strategic move for survival and long-term success and to an extent, social responsibility.

Restaurants and bars in Australia are in an excellent position to cater to the growing demand for vegan options. As the vegan movement gains momentum, it's essential for hospitality establishments to seize the opportunity. 

1.    Keeping up with changing market trends

Today's consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z, are increasingly conscious about their dietary choices. They expect hospitality businesses to cater to their needs, which often include vegan and plant-based options. By being inclusive and adapting to these trends, establishments can attract a broader customer base and meet evolving expectations. Offering plant-based menu items can boost revenue as vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians represent a growing market segment.

Mid-size restaurants have the space and resources to create diverse vegan options. Businesses can control costs while staying relevant by taking gradual steps, such as introducing a few plant-based options. The shift toward inclusivity can also help in reducing waste and food costs.

Group of friends laughing together in a bar enjoying a drink

2.    Limited promotions and Offers

Offering a wide range of plant-based options, from appetizers to desserts, can increase cost of operations. This can deter owners from evolving operations. However, this does not have to be the case. Why not experiment with a few dishes and signature vegan cocktails to understand the preferences of your customer base? 

Experiment with fusion cuisine, international flavours, and innovative cooking techniques, allowing your chefs to harness their creative talents and to make your venue a go-to for exciting options. Showcasing culinary creativity can set you apart from the competition.

Another way to experiment with the market, is through hosting special vegan events or promotions, such as 'Vegan Tuesdays' or 'Vegan Wine and Dine Nights'. These events can generate buzz and attract both vegans and non-vegans interested in trying plant-based options.

Restaurant manager working on this phone and laptop in a restaurant

3.    Customer Feedback and Adaptation

Pay attention to customer preferences and adapt your vegan offerings accordingly. Harness the power of your ordermate POS and understand preferences, even going so far as to implement loyalty programs specific to vegans. Interpreting the data of your POS will allow you to make the right calls and allow frequent menu updates based on customer input that keeps your offerings fresh and exciting, without breaking the bank.

ordermate’s POS can help you understand and create custom reports, which allow your staff to understand the top-selling items, profitability, and consumer ordering patterns. These insights, in turn, will enable you to alter your menu and your offerings based on your customer's behaviour.

Excellent service and a well-informed staff can create a positive dining experience for your vegan customers.

4.    Environmentally Friendly Practices

Medium-sized restaurants and bars can take significant steps toward sustainability. Today's consumers associate with and reward brands and products that align with their values. Implementing eco-friendly practices, such as reducing single-use plastics, minimising food waste, and sourcing local, organic ingredients, can help your restaurant attract such consumers and resonate with them. 

By adapting to inclusivity and trends like veganism and environmental consciousness, hospitality businesses can engage with the community effectively. In some instances, collaborating with local organisations and fostering a sense of community can create a loyal customer base and ensure long-term survival.

Being inclusive and adaptable is not just a matter of following trends; it's a matter of survival. The longevity of a business depends on its ability to anticipate and meet customer demands. Trends like veganism may have started as a fad, but they are evolving into long-term lifestyle choices for many. By being proactive and forward-thinking, businesses can future-proof themselves against changing consumer preferences.

Businesses that recognise and cater to the evolving needs of their customer base, including those related to veganism and plant-based diets, position themselves for long-term success, reputation enhancement, and a competitive edge in the industry. 

Chat with one of our specialists at ordermate, to see how we can help you interpret your customer data and to use it to help your business grow and smoothly transition within an ever-changing industry. 

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