As we enter 2020, the number of Vegetarians or those who follow a plant based diet is only increasing. Vegetarian and Vegan-forward restaurants are opening with great success, #MeatlessMonday has become a hashtag that is popular on Instagram and Twitter, and plant based bloggers are becoming influencers.
As such, corporate catering menus need to adapt to these lifestyle and diet choices in order to accommodate guests. While some might consider this an overwhelming task, we have been developing vegetarian-focused menus for years!
If you have a corporate catering event coming up, here are six tips to accommodate your vegetarian guests.
1. Move away from the salad
Vegetarians can all agree on one thing – if they are sitting down for a meal and they select the Vegetarian option, it certainly shouldn’t be a salad!
There is a common misconception that salads are the only thing a vegetarian eats; and it’s just that, a misconception. While a great Greek Salad or couscous blend is an excellent starter, it is important to consider alternatives for the main dish.
2. Consider a plant based protein
For a balanced meal, your corporate menu should consider a plant based protein for your Vegetarian or Vegan guests. Excellent protein options for plant based individuals can include tofu, tempeh or bean based options.
Tofu can be a great addition or replacement to a meat option for a main dish. For example, you can replace a chicken stir-fry with tofu, keeping all of the same sauces and sides.
3. Surprise – many of your appetizers might already be Vegetarian
Taking a look at your current menu options, some of your appetizers might already be meat-less, which removes any sort of customizations and extra additions for you, the host. Bruschetta, vegetable skewers, gourmet cheese (not vegan, but vegetarian) are all excellent options to provide for many lifestyles.
4. There are some delectable plant-based desserts available
Fresh fruits, gourmet crackers and vegan cheeses, watermelon “cake” and more are all plant-based and simply delicious. While you will likely offer other options (such as meats and cheeses, cakes and pastries), you might be surprised at how much you can create, that is plant based!
5. Vegan-ize any barbeque items, even burgers
If you are searching for a casual menu, you might be selecting a barbeque style of lunch or dinner. Think pork ribs, chicken breast and roasted potatoes.
The greatest part of a casual barbeque is that you can truly vegan-ize any of these items. There are a plethora of plant-based burgers that can be made, from bean-based to soy-based. In fact, 93% of people who are purchasing and consuming plant-based burgers like the Beyond Meat burger are meat eaters, so you may find yourself attracting a large crowd!
6. Invite your guests to provide their favourite menu item recommendations
While we are in a period of transition, the transition of our population considering plant based and Vegetarian dishes more and more often, you can expect to receive feedback from your corporate catering guests. As such, why not ask your guests to provide their recommendations on menu items and requests? You may very well receive feedback that can be used to create your next menu.
While you create your upcoming lunch or dinner corporate catering menu, you might consider Vegetarian or Vegan menu items. Don’t be afraid to create a blended menu that suits all guests of your event, never jeopardizing taste for diet!