Veganuary to Veg-Annually? What equipment do you need to add vegan dishes to your offer permanently?

By Phil Scoble

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Introduction

Veganuary is one of the UK’s biggest eating trends of the recent years, so it is no surprise that one of the easiest ways to find growth in your takeaway/delivery service this month is to add more Vegan options to your menu.

Many restaurants, pubs and cafes use January to both attract more customers, but also to experiment with their menu.

If you have found a similar experiment has succeeded and want to add a vegan option year-round, you will probably have to make some changes to the setup in your kitchen.  Creating the best vegan dishes is not just about the ingredients you add, it’s about having the essential equipment that helps you create those dishes efficiently, consistently and without cross contamination.

Here at U-Select, we specialise in renting catering equipment for one and two years, so that hospitality businesses can adapt their menu with the right equipment.

This blog will take you through some of the products U-Select offer for rent that can be used to create a vegan menu. Furthermore, we hope it will inspire you with ideas on what recipes you can create with using this equipment, helping you make this Veganuary a success.

The best equipment for the vegan menu

Food prep

The Blender and Industrial food processor, or an innovative machine such as the Robot Coupe 4VV Blixer, which combines properties of both, are the staples to a successful vegan kitchen. They have multiple uses from making side dips, smoothies, soups, pastes and are perfect for falafel mixes. 

Alternatively, a Stick Blender, such as the Fimar MX25, is great choice for smaller business’ such as cafés and coffee houses that want to add just a few vegan options to their menu. It allows you to make the smoothest vegan pancake batter, sauces, soups, deserts and more.

A common setback business’ face when operating a vegan menu, is the lack of recognition of the extra time food preparation takes in comparison to their normal dishes. By using a professional veg prep machines, such as the Robot Coupe CL50 or the Halde RG200 cuts down on time-consuming activities such as preparing salads, vegetables & chips quickly and precisely. Just as important, these machines allow you to have higher quantities of fresh food preparation on site – a key differentiator for those who have chosen to become vegan for health reasons.

Avoiding cross contamination when cooking

Cross-contamination is a key challenge in smaller kitchens – and it is vital when preparing vegan dishes, no taste or food transfer takes place.

This means that, if you want to add a vegan option permanently, and your dishes require cooking – then extra equipment will be needed. However, if you do not want to invest in large-scale items to as the proportion of meals you will be producing compared to your main menu will be small, consider countertop units. Electric griddles, such as the Lincat Silverlink 600 Electric Counter-top Griddle , and fryers like the Lincat Silverlink 600 Electric Counter-top Twin Tank Fryer, are affordable and quick to install and take up much less room.

If you need a larger unit and have the space, but not the cash, then U-Select’s Approved range of secondhand equipment often has options – check out the range here.

Takeaway and Delivery

With this Veganuary being takeaway and delivery service only, some business’ will have to adapt their menus completely to continue service. Pizza’s is a great way to add variety of both vegan and non-vegan to your menu, whilst maintaining a consumer’s interest: we are currently offering a 10% discount on all our Pizza Ovens until the end of January.

If you have provided takeaway or delivery services during lockdown, we’ve been supplying a lot of hot serveries to pubs, cafes and restaurants,  to help streamline their production. These can be reserviced, once lockdown is over, to create a hot servery in house for customers, speeding up your service when times are busy again.

Conclusion

Adding a vegan option to your menu – takeaway or in house – can attract more customers and give your business a bottom-line boost. However, take some time to consider adding extra equipment to help you deal with the following issues:

  • Cross contamination/taste transfer
  • Preparation speed
  • Production speed
  • Production overcrowding
  • Takeaway options

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