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According to YouGov, an online pollster, 2% of the British public are vegan, rising to 3% during the month of January. That is small fry though, when compared to the 10% of the British population that follow a gluten-free diet! What does this mean for your establishment? In reality, you could potentially be missing out on one in every two bookings for 10 people and one in three of bookings for 5 people. If you don’t adequately cater of vegan and gluten-free diets, on average you could be losing one in eight bookings.

There is good news!

Fortunately, there is a simple solution: ensure your menu has at least one vegan and gluten-free option for starters, main course and dessert. Perhaps less simple, but no less important: you will also need to ensure that your food preparation processes eliminate the chance of cross-contamination (for gluten-free options). Some foods are of course naturally gluten-free, such as meat or vegetables, but by the time you have added dressings, sauces and popular side dishes the whole meal may not be. Unless the menu item is specifically labelled as gluten-free then many customers might not be prepared to take the risk, particularly if they are coeliac rather than gluten intolerant. Even a small amount of gluten can have catastrophic consequences for many!

Do you promote the fact you cater for one in eight of your customers?

If you have recently added vegan and gluten-free labelled options to your menu and you are confident in your food prep processes, then make sure you shout about it! Is there a chalk board sign outside your venue highlighting the fact you cater for vegan and gluten-free customers? Is your latest menu available online? Have you gone one step further by offering a multitude of vegan or gluten-free menu options or gluten-free beers?

Win back repeat custom

If you use social media, it’s worth highlighting that you cater for vegan and gluten-free diets – this could be the edge that wins you the customer. Are your vegan and gluten-free menu options on a separate menu that may not be seen by customers? If so, consider including them in your main menu so that your full offering is obvious to diners.

You asked, we answered

It was clear from our recent customer survey that our customers wanted more vegan and gluten-free product options. As a result, we have now significantly increased our range of these food products. We now supply 17 vegan and 40 gluten-free food products to our customers in what is a very fast-growing diet sector.

What’s next?

If you are already an existing Cooper Foods Customer, then you can simply call 01264 321050 and ask about our range of vegan and gluten-free product options. If you are not already a Cooper Foods customer, then you can apply for an account here