Vegetarian meals out – it’s all a matter of scale

Vegetarian Week was always likely to throw up a few contentious issues. Eating out is just one of the many that those who have chosen the vegetarian or vegan are hoping to highlight and change as we approach the halfway point of the week.

Last year a survey was conducted across the whole vegetarian nation (well, those who took part, at least) called The Big Veggie Survey – within its many questions was a section that looked at dining out, given that the popular belief is that, if there is one vegetarian in a group the options open to the party diminish rapidly. And the survey did little to disprove this theory, putting a price tag on what the catering industry, particularly the pub and restaurant sector, are missing out on in the way of vegetarian dining: £1.8bn.

All in all, vegetarians total spend on eating out is estimated at £2.5bn – the figure of £1.8bn comes from the fact that almost three quarters of all of those surveyed are completely dissatisfied with the menu options available to them when they dine out. This really needn’t be the case – with most renowned cookery schools, they run cookery courses designed by vegetarians for vegetarians. But something is getting lost in translation.

The hang up on fish is the key issue

The survey found that, within menus that highlight a vegetarian option, 85% of those offerings promote fish as being the main choice aside from your red or white meat dishes. The problem herein lies in the fact that only 3% of people who have chosen the veggie way of life actually eat our finned friends.

And this is not just a case of pubs and restaurants getting it wrong, either. Cafés and workplace canteens were likewise included in the survey and Liz O’Neill of the Vegetarian Society is worried that the people creating the menus and tagging them as an option for herbivores are so out of touch with the market they purport to serve that “vegetarian customers are right to be concerned.” You have to see her point – there is a big, no, huge marketplace out there for anyone who is interested in testing the water and can take the time out to really understand what the niche needs and can learn to cook vegetarian, irrespective of their own dietary tendencies.

At any given time, this website has five different cookery schools to choose from. Why not see if any of these here cookery courses we have on offer could kick-start your venture into this needy market place? If you don’t, someone else surely will.

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