Make vegetables your friends

SRA Members are nothing if not innovative, trend-setting and responsive to their customers’ demands. We’ve reported on a number that have shifted the balance of their menus towards a more veg focused offering. Now, one of our Founder Members is going a step further…

Friends House Restaurant located in Friends House, in Euston, has taken the step to go completely meat free for the month of March. The success of participating in Meat Free Monday has seen more and more of Friends House’s customers ditching meat and trying vegetarian and vegan dishes throughout the rest of the week. This has resulted in sales of vegetarian dishes now exceeding those of meat and fish dishes.

In fact staff were so keen to get cracking with the new meat-free menu that they started March on Monday 22 February.

Mark Pattenden, Assistant Catering Manager, who is introducing the change said: “Sustainability is a Quaker concern and Friends House is committed to becoming as sustainable as possible. With the recent publicity regarding the harm that livestock farming is doing to the environment, we felt now would be the ideal time to introduce a meat free month”.

Meat Free Mondays have also influenced the creativity of Friends House Restaurant, in terms of vegetarian and vegan recipes. To prove that 100% vegetarian and vegan cuisine could be tasty and not boring, the Restaurant’s team had to be inventive. The team is now hoping that customers, old and new, will come and taste their vegetarian and vegan take-over during Meat Free March. And customers keen to ensure they keep their protein levels up can rest assured that the chefs have taken this into account.

Mark and his manager Jamie Scott hope that the restaurant will continue to be meat free in the future. Mark added: “Our customers have asked for this change, so we hope that by offering a range of delicious, wholesome and filling vegetarian and vegan dishes and educating all our customers on why we have made the change, we will be able to continue to be meat free in the future”.

Jamie says the first few days have seen really positive feedback from customers both in the restaurant and on social media. And, importantly, sales are strong – all helped along by lots of positive communication via both table talkers and other printed materials in the restaurant and on social media. This includes information about the benefits of a meat free diet and the environmental consequences of livestock farming.

We’ll keep you updated on how the month-long experiment goes.

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