Indian Restaurants can be a vegan’s friend! The local Indian Restaurant has been a family favourite for many decades now and one of the most popular cuisine for Brits!

Majority of Indian Restaurants have already been serving a huge selection of vegetarian friendly dishes. Many of these dishes are also vegan friendly but have not been advertised as such.

Now that awareness is high and vegan food is trending with the help of organisations like veganuary Many Indian Restaurants have updated their menus and crafted more dishes to appeal to the growing vegan customer base.

If the restaurant does not have a specific vegan menu or dishes marked vegan, be sure to ask if they cook with ghee (clarified butter) and if they add any milk/cream to dishes? If they do use ghee or cream, don’t panic, just ask if they can use alternatives such as vegetable oil. Which is actually cheaper for restaurants. Also be aware of dishes with types of cheese like Paneer. This is normally marked cleary in descriptions of dishes. With the above considered, most vegetable dishes will also be vegan diet friendly.

One of our clients even came up with vegan-friendly naan bread. Kobir Ahmed of Prana took many weeks to come up with the perfect recipe for vegan naan. So good that customers could not tell the difference from the usual naan. It even got rave reviews from a food blogger: “I wouldn’t have guessed! To be honest, I probably prefer it to the traditional one as it is much lighter”. Cambridge Food Tour.

Vegan Naan Bread at Prana Restaurant Cambridge

Here is 7 restaurant marketing tips to successfully market to a vegan client base

Step 1Create a unique menu for vegans.

Clearly label of vegan dishes on existing menus or create a complete vegan menu of it’s own. Ensure the customers feels like they are getting a total dining experience by including starters, mains and desserts and drinks.

Step 2 – Testimonials and Feedback

Once your menu is ready, invite bloggers and vegans to come and trial your new dishes in return for testimonials, video testimonials are very powerful on social media. Pick vegans that are influencers. Many areas have Facebook Groups for vegans, where you can invite admins and bloggers from. Naturally, the people you choose will reciprocate and promote your business and rave about it, if they enjoyed their experience. Use this opportunity to also gather valuable content such as photos and video to use for pre-launch and launch.

Step 3 – Pre Launch

Make sure your product doesn’t just launch but blasts off into space. Create a buzz! You could promote posts with a hashtag like #pranalovesvegan Start announcing on social media that you are launching vegan menu. You can write to to your email database and create posts. Be sure to share posts on food and vegan groups in your area. You could also consider boosting posts and running competitions to drum up interest like free vegan meal for 2.

Step 4 – Behind the scenes look

If you really want to build awareness, engagement and loyalty. You could give a behind the scenes account of how you develop your menu, how you choose ingredients, market research, customer feedback and so on. You could demonstrate your chef making the new dishes. Give people a closer look into what your product does and the people behind it.

Step 5 – Host an event

So what better way to engage than in person? Create an event to build anticipation for your launch. You can create a vegan night with a 3-course menu at a set price. Customers can come and try your offering before it becomes permanent on your menu. You can gain valuable feedback to tweak your dishes and customers will feel important as they become part of the process.
Prana Hosts Vegan Night

Step 6 Leverage

You could leverage your marketing with an event, special day, anniversary, event and so on. In this case, the perfect time to launch a vegan menu or promotion is in line with veganuary. The one-month long commitment to eating vegan in January called “veganuary” is getting a lot of press attention with over 100,000 people already signed up and 14,000 pledges in just 1 day in December.

Step 7 – Launch

If all the above steps have been executed, then you are ready to launch. Make sure you promote consistently on all your channels and keep customers up to date. Share regularly to all the groups and ask bloggers and Admins of groups to share, especially the ones you have already invited to sample your offerings.

7 success tips for Restaurant Marketing in Veganuary bought to you by Restaurant Marketing expert Alamin Ahmed of Alamin Media
If you would like Alamin Media to help you boost your online presence and drive customers through your door, contact us here