Food

Newly-vegan London pub says their food sales have tripled since going plant-based

Newly-vegan London pub says their food sales have tripled since going plant-based
(Picture: emisgoodeating/Instagram)

Veganuary has been absolutely massive this year.

We’ve seen the opening of London’s first vegan Chinese. Goodfella’s just released the UK’s first ever mainstream vegan frozen pizza. And nearly every chain seems to be bringing out their own range of plant-based sandwiches and wraps.

This month has also seen two London pubs turn 100% vegan.

Veganism isn’t a minority interest anymore.

And if you want further proof that that’s the case, just look at the Blacksmith and Toffeemaker – a pub in Islington which switched to a fully plant-based menu this year.

They’ve just reported that sales are up three-fold.

The pub turned vegan for a variety of reasons, says general manager, Sam Pryor.

‘From a sustainability point of view, it’s tragic to see the huge amount of resources that go into feeding livestock for meat only for us to have to throw unsold meat out once it’s past its use-by date,’ he explains.

‘No matter how smart you are with ordering, there is always waste where meat and dairy products are involved. This aspect isn’t really seen by the customer but most people in the trade would acknowledge that it is a big issue.’

While reducing food waste was a key driver (they’ve also stopped using plastic straws), Sam says that animal welfare and ‘horrifying’ intensive farming was also a major consideration.

So, on 5 January, the meat grinder got thrown out and a new menu was brought in which saw things like ‘Green Mac ‘n’ Cheese and ‘Halloumi’ and kimchi burgers come to the fore.

In fact, Sam claims that customers actually seem to prefer their new vegan mac ‘n’ cheese to the old dairy-filled one.

Going vegan has clearly paid off for the pub.

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‘Everything we make we sell. Any increase in ingredient prices are offset by the lack of waste and we basically have free marketing courtesy of the incredibly supportive vegan community. Everyone is willing us to succeed which is something you just don’t get with any other crowd.’

So, will the Toffeemaker be staying vegan after January?

‘We are 100% staying vegan for as long as the pub is standing,’ says Sam, who fully expects his customer base to increase.

‘Organisations such as Veganuary are increasing the profile of veganism in the UK all the time and the number of people choosing a vegan diet is growing exponential.’

Yasssssss.

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