We were delighted to host over 20 first-class chefs, restaurateurs and F&B leaders to learn more about the multiple benefits and creative ways of introducing plant-based options into menus in Hong Kong, at Food Made Good HK’s first ever Sustainability Breakfast.
Thirty percent of greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to food consumption and production, with livestock, specifically beef and lamb, accounting for the majority (WRI). Over-consumption of red and processed meat is widely linked to diet-related diseases including certain cancers according to the WHO. ‘Serve more veg and better meat’ falls under one of Food Made Good’s sustainability pillars, and our Breakfast was designed to educate and empower our Members, and share innovative methods to deliver more plant-based options and encourage diners to opt for greener choices through subtle nudges.
The Language of Food
Simple ideas can have the strongest impact. For example, making the language of food more appetising can generate more sales. Research by Stanford University showed that simply introducing more indulgent names for vegetable dishes can significantly increase the sales of plant-based options, rather than using basic descriptors (e.g. zucchini) or healthy descriptors (e.g. nutritious green zucchini). Sales of plant-based dishes improved by up to 41% if diners were offered ‘slow-roasted caramelised zucchini bites’ instead of ‘healthy zucchini’.
Getting the Balance Right
It’s all a balancing act and chefs are encouraged to re-think their menu proportions in terms of meat protein and plant-based proteins, be that introducing a signature dish highlighting vegetables, or rebalancing the entire menu to showcase 50% plant-based dishes. What pledge is best for your restaurant?
Surprise and Delight
We learnt that if customers seem resistant to opting for the plant-based dishes on the menu, regardless of how appetising they are, or how alluring the name is, why not encourage customers by offering a few complimentary tasters? Sneaking in a few plant-based treats between courses, or as part of a larger tasting menu, can bring surprising results as even the most ardent carnivore may be impressed by the charisma of plant-based flavours.
Many thanks to Michael Smith and Shane Osborn’s team at Arcane, who served up a refreshing vegetarian breakfast feast, and provided a wonderful venue for our first Sustainability Breakfast. Click here to see more pictures of the event on our Facebook!
We hope to see you at our upcoming Sustainability Breakfast on Tuesday 11 February at The Pawn, hosted by the team from Classified Group. In recognition of the UN’s World Pulses Day, we will be learning how to ‘Feed people well’ with biodiverse ingredients.
Stay tuned for registration details.
We look forward to seeing you again soon.