One more way to put more heads in beds? Certainly. According to www.veganbits.com, about two percent of Americans are vegetarian. One in four of those are vegan. What are you doing to attract that portion of travelers? According to the 2016 Lodging Survey, just 28 percent of hotels with restaurants offer vegetarian menu choices. That means, in most cases, that portion of travelers either chooses to dine elsewhere or are not satisfied when dining at your dining establishment. How can you better meet the needs of vegetarians and vegans?
One idea is to become a stop on a tour led by an organization called Vegan Food Tours. I just learned about the company today, and they are only in Europe, but there may be similar groups in your area. According to Vegan Food Tours’ Andres Giraldo, Vegan Food Tours is dedicated to promoting the vegan lifestyle and tourism. It currently works in Amsterdam, Barcelona and London. Additional cities will soon be added.
“We offer a service for vegans and non-vegans who are interested in knowing the vegan scene of the different cities of Europe in which we are present (where to eat, where to buy),” Giraldo says. “Thanks to our knowledge as local people we offer tours through the best restaurants, the emblematic places of each city, the vegan shops, the vegan markets, etc. Little by little we have increased our community and our participation in the vegan world, mainly because our clients have understood that we are also highly committed to vegan activism and lifestyle as a healthy, sustainable and respectful way to live.”
The success of any program created to attract vegetarians and vegans certainly comes down to the expertise of your chef—your marketing department as well. Getting the word out online and through social media that your hotel is a haven for those who do not eat meat, dairy, etc. is key. Paying attention to the cultural/religious reasons travelers choose the diets they do is also important.
How do your eating establishments cater to and market to vegetarians and vegans? I would love to learn about your successes and failures. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.