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The noes have it – restaurateurs vote against menus catering for every need

A new initiative titled ‘the Big Question’ has been launched by UK-based restaurant management software business – Favouritetable – to get to the heart of issues that inform, educate and entertain the hospitality sector.

As part of a 12-month series Favourite launched its first Big Question by asking over 350 of its restaurateur clients across the country if they believed ‘restaurant menus should cater for every dietary need or belief?’

The choice of subject follows news from Australia that a prominent activist had been charged after animal rights protesters stormed a busy Perth restaurant that banned vegans, physically clashing with staff and a diner.

Fyre restaurant head chef, John Mountain had, reportedly used social media to announce that “all vegans are now banned… for mental health reasons.”

In response to Favouritetable’s Big Question, restaurateurs expressed strong feelings on both sides of the issue, with the results being:

  • 76% of respondents voted NO, restaurant menus should not cater for every dietary need or belief
  • 24% of restaurateurs voted YES, restaurant menus should cater for every dietary need or belief

Comments received on the first Big Question included:

A YES campaigner noted: ‘Although not always possible I do feel it [menus] should cater for as many requirements as possible.’

Another YES said: ‘[Our] menu contains vegan, vegetarian, spicy, allergy, grills, seafood and casserole – we are trying to cover every single thing.’

But the NOES were overwhelmingly against this idea, with one voter commenting: ‘We have our own restrictions for ingredients, chef skills and availability of ingredients,’ while another added: ‘A chef can adapt some dishes for a vegan person, but they can’t pretend the whole world will become vegan!’

Another NO continued: ‘It is almost impossible to cater for all needs without completely changing the taste of dishes. We have altered most of our recipes to try to accommodate as much as possible.

A final NO voter concluded: ‘If you don’t like the menu on offer, don’t go in to dine.’

Jaipal Yadav, MD of Favouritetable, said: “The subject of restaurants catering to different demands is clearly a very hot topic for our clients and, I suspect, many other hospitality businesses across the UK.

“Whatever your customers’ needs we highly recommend using an effective restaurant booking system to ensure the issue of what diners do, or don’t want on their menus is never a problem again.”

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