Community: Forum: Vegetarian Discussion

Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

I am working on a business plan for a new Vegan restaurant in the NE. To have a bigger Vegetarian impact, I'd like to be appealing to a broader audience including non-veggie healthy conscious folks. I also want to be able to average ~ $8 or $9 per ticket, so it's affordable to College students. Working with fresh ingredients and organic products puts a lot of pressure on costs...

I'd love to receive feedback on what you'd like to see on the menu, what location you find attractive and what's your budget.

Responses (16)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Ryman at 03/24/10 10:37:44

    I'm not sure what's available in your area, but vegan chilli would be a good thing. Even my non-veg mates really enjoyed it when they had some.

    Clothes for Veg*ns*

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    Posted by fcp at 03/24/10 10:42:12

    Thanks Ryman,
    I love chilli. Do you prefer it with minced mushrooms of minced soy protein?

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    Posted by Ryman at 03/24/10 13:54:29

    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes


    1 can black or pinto beans, drained
    1 can kidney beans, drained
    1 can diced tomatoes
    1/2 onion, diced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 bell pepper, diced (any color)
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1/4 cup vegetable broth
    2 tbsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    dash cayenne pepper (optional)
    dash red pepper flakes (optional)
    1/2 cup TVP + 1/2 cup water (optional)

    In a medium to large soup pot, sautee the onion, bell pepper and garlic in the olive oil.
    Add tomatoes, vegetable broth and chili powder and stir.

    Reduce heat to medium low and add beans. Stir occasionally and cook for at least 20 minutes. Add TVP and water 10 minutes before done cooking. Of course, the longer you cook chili the better, but if you're pressed for time, 20 minutes is fine.

    For a spicier chili, add extra cayenne and red pepper flakes. Makes 6 servings.

    Nutrition Facts:
    One serving provides approximately:
    Calories: 334, Calories from Fat: 54
    Total Fat: 6.0g, 9%, Saturated Fat: 0.9g, 4%
    Cholesterol: 0mg, 0%
    Sodium: 260mg, 11%
    Total Carbohydrates: 55.4g, 18%
    Dietary Fiber: 15.5g, 62%
    Sugars: 5.9g
    Protein: 18.7g
    Vitamin A 49%, Vitamin C 107%, Calcium 11%, Iron 35%, Based on a 2000 calorie diet

    Clothes for Veg*ns

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by JohnnySensible at 03/24/10 21:44:25

    Have a read of this article on Candle in NY -

    Study many other websites / menus.

    Talk to May at May Kaidee - she may partner with you / teach you her menu.

    See -

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 03/25/10 00:30:01

    Few years back, there was a similar type of discussion at a Vegetarian Society Forum, over the years, some of the points might be obsolete or need some revising - if you are interested, here is the link.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 03/25/10 00:40:32

    I would think for a Veg*n eatery to be successful - it is more than servings delectable food (taste is very subjective, between vegetarian and non-vegetarian too) the dinning concept is important too.

    I was reading a EcoChic Book on Eco-friendly restaurant around the world, I happened to type some info for the restaurant in England, maybe it can be of some use to you:

    If you are catering to non-vegetarian that is the right path, as the veg population is still rather small, although it is growing globally.

    However, what non-veg looking is different from vegetarian - For Vegetarian, maybe we can't eat meat, we look for mock meat dishes etc but for meat-eater, they don't need mock stuff as they can taste the real stuff. There are some creative dishes that non-vegetarian would love too those dishes vary from place to place. A survey for non-veg might be a good place to gather info.

    Interesting, creative dishes, fun stuff might catch the attention and become talk of the town. There would be some gap or needs in different area, discovering those and turn that into a selling point.

    This is rather a big topic to discuss and very interesting too :D

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 03/25/10 00:55:15

    Concept like letting guest can build their own menu from the choices available make dinner happier and reduced the chances of tastes what their dislike.

    Maybe some Asia Veg*n Food from different countries in Asia - like Thailand - green mango salad, Deep-fried Tofu with Thai Sauce, Malaysia like Fried Wonton (using tofu fillings) or Vegetable Spring Roll, Noodles, Japanese - fruity and Veggie Sushi, Vietnam - Summer Roll (you can have salad in it) ...

    You can also get non-veg or veg to share their recipes or granny's recipe and with some modification and listed it as Diner's Contribution ...

    There could also be some take-away (frozen maybe) comfort food that can be "heat-up" at home for no-cook... sellings your own signature healthy salad dressing, bento sets for lunches, or even ready-prepare ingredients with a simple recipes that customer can do a quick cooking ... power juices ...

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by fcp at 03/26/10 10:31:40

    Thank you much for your insightful comments and lings to previous discussions. I'll try the chili with some minced mushrooms.
    As I look at some stat data, here's what I find:
    - We vegetarians are only ~2%.
    - Most are young folks with a budget of mostly $10 per meal.
    - Non-veg people are getting more conscious on Health and environment.
    - There are a few ethnic vegetarian places in my area and 2 excellent fine dinning Vegan, but nothing really catered to Mainstream.
    I was thinking a professionally looking "Panera" style Vegan place with healthier hot sandwiches, fresh soups and creative salads could attract more people to try vegetarian stuff and slowly realize being veggie is doable?
    Do you guys think I'm on the right track?

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 03/27/10 00:13:36

    You are welcome. Yes, you got those important stuff which can use to build upon:-

    If non-veg people are getting health conscious, then junk food should be out of the menu (but young generation grow up with Junk Food, they love it) but still workable. Healthy diet info might be of interest to them.

    Go-green for the environment, then there should be some "green message" like using eco-friendly packaging might go in-line with them.

    Young folks with a budget, if there is some activities like they can gather few friends to order and get free items or at a cheaper rate. Have a some fun events or fun elements where young folk can eat and blog event, tasting event (for survey and gathering feedback on food).... etc.

    It seems that in the East, we are adding Western Menu and in the West, Thai or India, Japanese Food are few option in some of Eco-friendly Eateries. How receptive is the folk with other cuisines? Using Asian veggie style for sandwiches (East-meets-West or West-meets-East) Curry Sandwiches? I don't know, just throwing out ideas.

    In my country, I discovered that people reject "vegetarianism" but not vegetarian food. As long as it is delectable and convenience, they don't mind having vegetarian meals sometime. If meat-eater think we are out to convert them, the reaction is very different, they dislike vegetarian food.

    All the best :D

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 03/27/10 00:42:10

    Is it something similar to Maoz Falafel - vegan friendly fast-food joint that serves Middle Estern Cuisine. Perfect for Vegan on a budget where diners can stuff their pita breads with a selection of vegetables, humus, guacamole, falafel balls and various messes?

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 03/27/10 00:58:44

    Maybe you already know -

    Pizza Oi Vegan Pizzeria offers healthy "junk" food - The 'cheese' topping is vegan.

    Alive ! Vegetarian Cuisine - has a sustainability philosophy: take-out customers get a 10% discount if they bring their own containers.

    Cafe Gratitude - is a "feel good" joint with a fun menu that is sure to evoke few laughs.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by fcp at 03/29/10 08:51:38

    I like Maoz; gotta respect a good Falafel at ~low price. I would like to have a menu a little more diverse. I worked at a Vegan restaurant where I made quite a bunch of Pizza; delicious, but probably not the best path for promoting healthier food.

    The other two places look delicious... I'll make sure to visit when I'm on the west coast.

    I'm thinking of a Vegan Panera (or au bon pain, atlanta bread, camile's sidewalk cafe or even chipotle). There's nothing like it here on the east coast.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 03/29/10 18:56:16

    Great, that would differentiate your restaurant and have some unique selling point :)

    Pizza - if it can be a healthier version, why not? Some of the restaurants they have some items label with 'Healthier choice' logo and some "sinful" items (like deep-fried items) on their menu (eating in moderation is no harm at all) catering to different diners.

    My eating pattern, I like fruity sorbet instead of ice cream and sometimes unique concoction (DIY) of fresh fruit juice or soyshake (with reduce sugar or without sugar) instead of soft drink if I feel like going for a healthier food diet for a day or when I want to watch my calories or wanting to lose some weight, in a different way and not totally miss out the fun of enjoying good food.

    When I crave for junk food, i eat in moderation, a little :)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by fcp at 03/30/10 10:30:02

    I"m with you on that; I'm no saint in my eating habbits. Last night I had a Vegan chorizo (sausage) that was probably as far as you can get on "vegan junk". Pretty tasty, but lacking a bit of consistency.

    The Vegan pizzas they serve at the place I worked are surely healthier than regular ones; and having a pizza on my menu probably would be alright. My concern would be to have a Vegan Pizzeria... One of the Sandwiches I'm planning is a BBQ Seitan with sauteed Kale and cheese... plenty of sin!

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by Peace ... at 03/30/10 18:27:13

    A BBQ Seitan with Sauteed Kale and Cheese ... plenty of sin! Hahaa... :D

    I think I will LIKE this very much :) - we have something similiar in Asia known as "Kong Bah with Chinese Steamed Bun" - very sinful (if you want to see a vegetarian version using mushroom (braised) - this eatery had a picture of it on top of their web ...

    I ordered their "Kong Bah" as take away and I derived this - East meets West Sandwiches, a photo of it is at this site:'-mouse-sandwiches/

    It can be "sinful" and "un sinful" with a option to denote this dish can be ordered as a healthier choice. With or without cheese option, with sauteed kale or just fresh veggies (lettuces or carrot shreds/cucumber shreds or cucumber and tomatoes slice, cabbage shred???, or more veggies, wholemeal bread or pita or wrap or just like "peking duck"..., seitan or tofu)

    Go for the Vegan Pizzeria too :D Healthier than regular ones, that is a good selling point and good for all too.

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    Posted by AndyT at 07/01/10 05:03:09

    Consider offering fruit smoothies and green smoothies!Great for vegans and non-vegans alike, and offer something other than just lunch. All you need to get is a blender (preferrably something like the automatic & noice-reduced Blendtec Smoother), a few good recipes, fresh fruit and ice, and you're ready to go.Best regards,Andy

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