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I've just read an article about eatting out as a vegan and it recommended calling ahead to warn the restaurant (non veggie places).
I can't imagine doing that so I was wondering how many people do?

Responses (11)

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 07/11/15 06:01:25

    Sometimes it helps, sometimes not.

    I've been to many restaurants where the owners, managers, and even head chefs had never heard the word "vegan".

    Personally, I very rarely eat in restaurants. Too expensive, and you must trust the cooks, etc.

    Just like with many of the TV cooking shows, you can see cooks handling raw meat and eggs without washing their hands afterward. They typically handle all foods without doing so.

    So I prefer 100% vegan restaurants, and even then have some reservations about food storage, handling, etc.

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    Posted by J-Veg at 07/13/15 04:49:15

    I sometimes do this, especially when there is nothing on the menu that looks like it is vegan or could easily be made vegan. It's especially important when going with a group of non-veggies/non-vegans, as it's really awkward to discuss this with clueless/unprepared staff and then end up eating a few leaves with olive oil.

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    Posted by RJS at 07/13/15 14:18:34

    I'm not even used to calling up to book a table! But I love eating out.
    I just don't think most places would react well. Guess I'll have to give it a try and find out.

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    Posted by anahidscv at 07/13/15 15:03:39

    Never have, never will. I go to restaurants I am familiar with plus I am extremely picky and need flavorful food. I do not like paying the high prices and my food is bland.

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    Posted by Elliebecomesthedream at 07/14/15 12:32:51

    I often do, or email/tweet them. It helps to know what you're in for so you know whether to eat first! :P

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    Posted by AndyT at 10/07/15 02:38:27

    If I know there is a company function at a restaurant, I normally try to check the menu in advance, and, if there seem to be no vegan options, I sometimes call them.

    That usually helps, so that at least, when we arrive at the restaurant, they are warned in advance and take some extra care.

    Best regards,

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    Posted by Stevie at 10/09/15 01:13:33

    I regularly engage with restaurant management to ascertain if they can accommodate my requirements. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Fore warmed = fore armed etc,

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    Posted by Zenginner at 11/22/15 18:58:57

    I am vegan (3.5 years) and was vegetarian before that (since 1985). I am grew up in a world where no one had ANY CLUE about vegetarian or vegan. I used to order (in advance) vegetarian meals on flights. 75% of the time, they prepared chicken or fish, and served it to me with the vegetarian label still attached. Traveling across the county in the 80's, I once spent 20 minutes explaining to a McDonalds employee (the ONLY food place open) how to make a cheese sandwich. (I only succeeded by getting them to make a "cheeseburger, with the burger on the side.")

    Accordingly, I will call ahead if I am making a special trip, or if I am meeting others. (I hate the people I am with to sit through the "When Harry Met Sally" scene.) However, first - I usually look up the menu online. I see if they have salads as a backup. I also look to see what veggies they have in their other recipe items. (If they are NOT a chain, I find they are often willing to mix a bunch of available veggies together for a stir fry or over pasta.)

    If I am just in an area, I show up and ask the hostess or manager. I prefer not to be seated, unless I am willing to just have a drink or coffee, and the food is extraneous.

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    Posted by JohnnySensible at 11/22/15 21:26:21

    I ran restaurants.

    They have staff dramas.

    Menus change.

    They close down suddenly.

    I call ahead most of the time now before venturing out, if it is not one of my regular eating places.

    I have had too many wasted trips to locked premises.

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    Posted by Robinwomb at 11/23/15 02:42:49

    I rarely eat out at restaurants, maybe a half dozen times per year at most, usually less. I just prefer homemade whole food (even when I travel...and I choose to stay at places or camping that allows for me to make my own food).

    But when I do eat out I usually choose places that are very vegan friendly and have labeled vegan dishes available. In the few instances I ate out where this was not possible (for example a coworker retirement party get together), I called the restaurant ahead and inquired about vegan options. I have also worked with wait staff while at a restaurant to ask about vegan options and if something (such as a bread) is vegan or not. I also explain what I mean by "vegan" and don't assume everyone knows, because some people think honey is vegan for example. I have never had a problem doing this, and wait staff, cooks, and other restaurant staff have always been helpful and accomodating. It is their job and most are more than happy to make their customers happy so they keep coming back or get a good review. It doesn't take more then a few minutes of effort to do, and ensures that you won't end up with hidden fish sauce or ghee or some other animal product in your meal, or that you will be left eating a salad with no dressing. AND it alerts restaurant staff that there is a growing demand for vegan friendly food.

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    Posted by Aloo at 11/23/15 19:28:06

    I check the menu online if I can beforehand. You generally get the gist of what they can offer. If there are no obvious veganisable options (and I have no other choice of restaurants because I would probably prefer somewhere else if this is the case) then I call.

    I have learnt to ask them for examples of what they can offer, rather than get there and have lettuce while the rest of the table are feasting. I have been known to specify that I expect a meal of similar standard and quality to the rest of the group. ;)

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