Did anyone get a chance to see Justin Timberlake on SNL this month? Now some will argue that the 5 Timers Club was the best sketch on the show, but I say that there was just star power with that sketch; there wasn’t any substance. The Maine Justice skit was good, but it’s been done before, finally the Matchmaker Game was clever, but it has to get disqualified because of Dan Aykroyd’s fat pants. Now, if you were to ask me, the top sketch of the night for Timberlake was the Veganville sketch. Come on, after watching that, tell me you don’t want to eat tofu and try out some coconut milk shakes.
He isn’t lying about one thing though; veganism is becoming a growing movement in our country as more and more evidence points to the fact that whole food plant based diets are simply better for our bodies. However, even if people know that plant foods are better for them, it’s only been recently that people have had suitable options as far as going out goes. As veganism grows, restaurants like Vedge, Lula’s and Sage will become more common place. So, if you’ve always wanted to start a vegan restaurant, what are some things to keep in mind?
- Can you cook vegan? Sure, not cooking meat is one thing, but no dairy or eggs for sweets or pastries? This could be tough. Luckily, there are some tried and true methods to learning how to cook vegan. Seitan, tempeh and tofu are great meat substitutes and you can use soy or plant milks for your dairy. You can even make your own cheese with nuts or soy yogurt. The key is to come up with a menu that will just be good food to the vegan and non-vegan alike.
- What about the furnishings? The food may taste great, but what about the furnishings? You have to think durable, yet stylish when it comes to your tables, chairs and counter. For example, tabletops with metal furniture legs are a great way to get the most value for your buck. They’ll be sure to last a while, just like your business hopefully.
- Do you have a business plan? Of course, you’ll need to know a little bit about the restaurant business to get an understanding of what’s expected – and no, watching Kitchen Nightmares does not count. Take classes in business, speak with chefs and restaurant managers and read every book you can to get a better understanding of what will be expected.
These are just some of the many things you’ll need to consider as you start your brand new vegan restaurant. Good Luck and Bon Appetit!
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Samantha Wideman is part of a team of writers and specializes in writing about current news events.