A recent article by The Guardian cited 50% of UK adults as having adopted ‘vegan buying behaviour’, with the overall number of British vegans growing by 400% in the last decade. Even celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver are singing the praises of plant-based dining, having recently launched a ‘5-day veggie challenge’ encouraging his followers to get creative with their cooking and adopt a meat-free diet for the week.
If we want to better understand the growing popularity of meat-free dining and the consequences for restaurants’ social media platforms, then we need only need look at how are hashtags being used on Instagram:
As can be seen above, the #vegan hashtag is significantly more popular than its carnivorous counterparts, having been used 10 times more than #meat and over 100 times more than #meatlover.
Long story short, the veggie trend is here to stay, and plant-based diners are dominating the digital food community. It is therefore vital for your restaurant to embrace these groups if you wish to succeed on social – here are some simple steps that you can take to embrace the veggie trend:
1. Offer vegetarian/vegan options
Just about every restaurant in the UK is embracing the vegan trend, with even the meat-lovers’ McDonald’s making efforts to trial a ‘McVegan’ soy burger last year in Finland. It can even be as simple as introducing alternatives to dominant animal-based products, such as plant-based milks.
If you don’t offer vegetarian/vegan options then you run a real risk that your potential customers will simply go elsewhere, and your restaurant will miss out on capturing an ever-growing group of diners.
2. Embrace hashtags!
If you offer veggie-friendly options, then shout about it! As we’ve seen, vegetarians and vegans are one of the most engaged groups of diners, and platforms such as Instagram offer a fantastic way to reach out to potential visitors to your restaurant. If you post a meat-free dish on your page, then be sure to use relevant hashtags such as #vegan, #whatveganseat, #plantbased, and join the conversation on great veggie food. An added bonus, it is likely your engagement stats will increase due to vegans on Instagram being a uniquely passionate demographic!
3. Get creative with your meat-free options
Get creative with your plant-based dishes. If you are sceptical about incorporating vegan options into your full-time menu, then why not whip up an innovative vegetarian special, or perhaps running a meat-free Mondays offer? You might be surprised by the influx of new diners eager to try your vegetarian treats!
If you need tips on taking great photos of veggie food such as this, then read my latest blog on getting great dish photos for your restaurant.
Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to veggie-friendly success!
If you’re looking for more tips on embracing dining trends and maximising your restaurant’s customer base, then get in touch with one of our team.