Some Restaurants Don’t Offer Whole Food Plant-Based Items On Their Menu – but Here Is Why They Should

Excerpted from VegSource.Com and the Veg Resource Group by “Healthy World – Sedona”

The excuses:

1 – We’ve had no demand for it

The Catch22 – many people who live a whole food plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle will just look at the menu in a restaurant’s window, or on their website and, upon seeing nothing plant-based, will go somewhere else. Hence, the restaurateurs see only a small portion of the actual demand.

2 – Losing one awkward WFPB (Vegan) customer won’t make any difference

Most people do not dine out alone, and many WFPB customers have mostly non-plantbased friends and family. When they’re deciding where to eat, the WFPB customer may use a veto in the selection process. The restaurant does not just lose one awkward customer, they lose all their friends and family as well.

Add to that the fact that most people prefer to go back to the same restaurants over time, and “repeat trade” is crucial to the success of any business. The friends and family of a WFPB customer are likely to keep going back to the restaurant with WFPB options chosen earlier, even when that person is not with them.

3 – It is just too much hassle when there are so few WFPB citizens

There are actually well over eight million Americans now fully committed to a WFPB lifestyle. But, interestingly, people not fully committed to a WFPB lifestyle actually eat more plant-based meals in restaurants than those who are 100% consistent. They just like the idea of WFPB nutrition and having those options available. There have been many business surveys demonstrating this phenomenon for plant-based food in general over the last 20 years.

4 – WFPB diners are unpleasant, holier-than-thou folks, so why would we want them in our restaurant?

Some of the media still likes that stereotype, and a lot of people fall for it. But customers are increasingly recognizing the irrefutable nutritional science supporting a WFPB lifestyle as well as environmental and animal welfare impacts. WFPB diners are just people, all different, like everyone else. And, coming back to the point above, those not committed 100% of the time actually bring more total business than those who are.

5 – We offered a WFPB option, but the WFPB customers don’t come back again

If there is only one WFPB item on the menu, then the only option is take it or leave it. Why would anyone go back to a restaurant with only one edible dish on the menu?

The solution: offer a minimum of three or more clearly labeled WFPB options on your menu, for a genuine choice.

6 – There are no easy WFPB recipes suitable for commercial restaurant chefs

WFPB cookbooks do tend to be written mostly for domestic use. However, there are many really good WFPB books available these days (hardcopy and especially electronic). A chef need only scale selected WFPB recipes up for restaurant production once, and voila’, all set for future customers!


  • Times are changing;
  • Consumer demand for meals derived entirely from whole plants, without added oil, is significant and growing rapidly (see this link regarding oil:
  • Many prospective customers now use smartphone applications like “Happy Cow” to search for suitable culinary options as they make decisions about where to dine.
  • The time to adapt to this new market is now.

Healthy World Sedona: Compassionate Plant-Based Living

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