INTRODUCTION TO THE TOOLKIT

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Many people have reported that they have had great success getting their favorite local restaurants to add healthier, vegan, and whole food, plant-based (WFPB) meals to their menus. This Toolkit is crafted primarily as a “How-to” guide for restaurant owners, Pods and other advocates to make change happen in their communities with the ultimate goal of getting more restaurants everywhere to offer healthier options generally, and vegan/WFPB dishes specifically. It is structured as a Campaign – with an eye toward Group Leaders engaging Pod members to participate and report successes that will be used to fuel a larger national Advocacy Initiative. Check out the Dining Out Toolkit for valuable information and resources about dining out.

Getting Started – The Restaurant Campaign

This Action Sheet provides an overview of the Campaign and guidance about how the various documents in the Campaign Toolkit fit together. It is particularly useful for Group Leaders of Pods.

Identifying Candidate Restaurants to Approach for The Restaurant Campaign

While anyone in any restaurant at any time can explore the possibility of making a temporary or permanent shift in a restaurant’s menu offerings, it is likely that certain characteristics would make some restaurants more or less likely to be interested in and able to accommodate this request.

Implementation Strategies for The Restaurant Campaign

Many Pod members have reported great success getting their favorite local restaurants to add healthier, vegan, and whole food, plant-based (WFPB) meals to their menus. These Implementation Strategies are offered as a guide to support efforts to take an initial conversation with a waiter and turn it into a menu item.

Restaurant Certificate

Restaurants that add a healthy meal to their menu are invited to apply for an official Certificate that reflects their participation in the PlantPure Communities Restaurant Campaign.

Writing Reviews on Happy Cow and Other Apps

Suggestions on how to write a compelling, effective review from a health perspective on apps like HappyCow, and a list of other apps you can use to get the word out about plant-based meal options.

Supporting Veg Restaurants and Encouraging Healthier Options

While the Restaurant Campaign is mainly focused on restaurants with no vegan/WFPB options, it is also important to support vegan and vegetarian (“veg”) restaurants, and find ways to work with them to incorporate healthier menu options.

Adding the Restaurant Campaign Link to Group Description on Pod Page

Instructions on how to edit a Pod page to share a list of restaurants that have added healthy meals to their menus.

“Tips for Designing a Meal” Card

Print this card, share it with others, and bring it with you when you dine out for inspiration when ordering.

 

WFPB Diet Explained for Restaurant Owners/Managers

Information on WFPB Diets and tips for adding WFPB meals to the menu, for Restaurant Owners/Managers.

Maximizing Participation in the Restaurant Campaign via Happy Cow

This Info Sheet is a summary guide for restaurant owners/managers who have added plant-based meals to their menu, possibly at the request of their customers, and have been encouraged by their customers to submit a request to be listed on HappyCow.

PPC’s Culinary Philosophy

Explains PPC’s culinary philosophy and what it means to be “PlantPure.”

The Restaurant Campaign Reporting Form for Pods 

Group Leaders, print this form to fill out or pass around at Pod meetings. When you’re ready, submit the report electronically to PPC (using the form listed in the “Reporting” section below).

Please use the Restaurant Campaign Certificate Application and Reporting Form to apply for a PlantPure Communities Restaurant Certificate, or to report on healthy meals that have been added to restaurant menus – including electronic menus, special inserts/cards, specials boards, and traditional menus. For details about the Certificate, please review the Action Sheet: Restaurant Certificate listed above. 

Please share your questions with us so that we can include them in this section! Email info@plantpurecommunities.org.

What is the primary goal of the PPC Restaurant Campaign?

To get restaurants to offer at least one or more plant-based, no oil meal option(s) on their menu. PPC is not setting out to make every restaurant vegan, PPC simply aims to make healthy, plant-based meals an option at every restaurant.

What are the qualifications a restaurant must meet to receive the certificate?

A restaurant must offer one or more meals that: contain no animal products (no meat, fish, dairy, eggs, honey), no added oil (or products containing added oil), and indicate the availability of no animal products/no oil meal on the menu.

How do restaurants apply to receive the PPC Restaurant Certificate?

Restaurant owners/managers may apply for the Restaurant Certificate by submitting the Restaurant Campaign Certificate Application and Reporting Form.

Can diners submit an application to receive the certificate or is this the restaurant owner/manager’s responsibility?

Yes, diners may submit an application for the certificate on behalf of a restaurant owner/manager.

Why is it important for restaurants to have this certificate? Is there a growing population that is demanding these types of meals?

It is very important given the recent trend in plant-based eating. According to a 2017 Trends report, 6% of the U.S. population now identifies as vegan, and 30% are leaving meat off their plates and seeking out plant-based alternatives. More and more people are demanding plant-based alternatives when eating out at restaurants. Here are a few more statistics: “70% of adults say the availability of healthy menu options would make them choose one restaurant over another” – 2017 State of the Industry report from the National Restaurant Association. “Menu trends today are beginning to shift from ingredient-based items to concept-based ideas, mirroring how consumers tend to adapt their activities to their overall lifestyle philosophies, such as environmental sustainability and nutrition” – What’s Hot 2017 Culinary Forecast.

The HappyCow website and app is a worldwide guide to vegan-friendly restaurants and health food stores.

VeganXpress is an on-the-run guide to what’s vegan at fast food and chain restaurants in the USA and beyond. iPhone users can purchase the app ($1.99) to assist them in finding vegan options at restaurants like Chipotle, Olive Garden, Applebee’s and more!

VegGuide.org is a worldwide, community-maintained guide to veg-friendly restaurants and shopping.

How to Explain You’re Vegan in 83 languages – printable cards which are free to download, developed by MaxLearning.

Leave a Card to Thank Your Chef – cards you can order through VistaPrint for a fee, developed by the Humane League.

Restaurant Comment Cards – leave a card for the restaurant to rate and/or ask for more plant-based options, developed by PETA. A free pack of 10 cards will be shipped to addresses within the U.S. and Canada.

Healthy Dining-Out Tips recommended by the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine.

“Dining Out When You Must,” recorded lecture from Mary McDougall, 2/15/2017

145 Vegan Chain Restaurant Menus Every Vegan Needs to Know (article)

How to Eat Vegan at Any Restaurant (article)