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Promoting Plant-Based Dairy Products in the Dining Room

Monday, August 2, 2021

Plant-based dairy products have been on the market for a while now, so many of your guests have probably already heard of them. This growing awareness (and in some cases, a preference for plants) will make it easier for you to promote new recipes. Here are a few ideas to help you plan a successful rollout on menu.

Women sitting at a cafe counter with iced lattes

Introducing…more plants!

Educate Your Staff

Make sure servers know which products you use in your dishes and beverages and how their flavors may differ from each other and cow’s milk. They should be prepared to describe how well plant-based dairy products deliver the creaminess and consistency guests expect. Since many of these products contain potential allergens, remind your staff to ask guests about allergies and intolerances when serving beverages or dishes with soy, gluten, or nut-based ingredients.

Spread the Word!

Remember, consumers are looking for more plant-based options, so promote them visibly. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing customers who are specifically seeking these items. Try tools like newsletters, social media, or signs and table-cards around your restaurant to promote your new items and explain why you’ve added them. Values statements like these may attract new customers or increase the loyalty of those you have.

Show & Tell

If you want to convince guests how delicious these products are, a picture (or a display case) can be worth a thousand words. Once guests can see how amazing dishes made with these ingredients can be, they’ll be tempted to give them a try! You can also draw attention by creating posters for your waiting area, adding promo cards to the table, or featuring plant-based dairy menu items in online menus and social media.

Try It, You’ll Like It!

Taste-tests can also be a powerful way to win over guests. If you have self-serve beverage stations, include a variety of plant-based options so guests can experiment by themselves. Or, offer a sampler of smoothies, coffee drinks, or desserts made with plant-based dairy products to help create acceptance.

The advent of new ingredients is always an exciting time for the food industry. With consumer demand for plant-based foods and beverages on the rise, now is the perfect time to begin experimenting and searching for ways to add them to your repertoire.

The information provided is based on a general industry overview, and is not specific to your business operation. Each business is unique and decisions related to your business should be made after consultation with appropriate experts.