Being a vegetarian when eating out hasn’t always been as easy as it now is in 2016. I remember years ago the options in cafes, restaurants and at events were extremely limited. How many mushrooms can one person eat? Gone are the days where I would feel slightly embarrassed RSVP’ing for an event, having to mention I am vegetarian. Oh so you eat fish then yes? Sigh.
In June 2016, the massive food chain Pret a Manger launched it’s very first ‘Veggie Pret’, a pop up shop serving vegetarian only options. Pret themselves didn’t expect it to do too well, aiming for a one month run as a test. They wanted to challenge their team of chefs to create new and exciting veggie/vegan options, as well as encourage customers to give feedback on exactly what they would like added to their existing offerings. The positive response was overwhelming, with sales up over 70% from last year. Because of this, they have extended the shop’s run until the end of the summer, then who knows! This got me thinking, is this a viable option for the future, vegetarian only events?
London is an incredibly diverse city – there are so many events on offer, so where do you start when looking at what to attend? A quick internet search and I am inundated with opportunities. The amount of vegetarian or vegan events available in London is unbelievable! Whether it’s a restaurant, pop up event or full on VegFest (yes, that’s a thing) there are endless possibilities you can explore, whether you are a vegetarian or not!
Our catering partner Food by Dish offers some inventive and utterly delicious vegetarian options. For every event Merlin operates we always recommend the client choose at least one vegetarian main option, because the demand is ever increasing! Sometimes we have even had feedback that guests preferred the veggie options over the meat or fish ones! Could it be possible that you could put on a fully vegetarian menu at an event and some guests may not even notice? When food is that good, does it matter if there is meat in the ingredients?
I know I am biased but I for one think it would be amazing if more events took this idea on board. If nothing else it encourages healthy eating, a varied diet and trying something new!
What vegetarian/vegan events would you like to see?
Written by Becca Tobias – a proud vegetarian event co-ordinator.