Imagination Needed

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Greyghost
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Imagination Needed - Fri, 08/26/05 10:05 PM
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I do not know if I should be posting here as I am not a Restaurant Professional. But and it is a big but indeed, why can't Restaurant Professionals cater properly to vegetarians? I am not a vegetarian, I will eat anything that walks, crawls, swims, slithers, flies or shows any sign of being an edible ani-mule. I am not a problem in that regard. I am married however and my wife is a vegetarian. Ahh...you already see the problem.

This makes travel a little bit problematic as my wife tires of the same old salads, veggie burgers and pasta dishes that parade as vegetarian. I do not see why any restaurant can't provide a wonderful selection of vegetarian meals, all it takes is a little bit of imagination.

I am sure I am not alone in trying to find an adequate restaurant that will satisfy both of our needs. Most restaurants already have the materials on hand to do incredible vegetarian meals. You don't have to do anything extra, just employ some imagination and that doesn't cost anything extra.

If you come up with a few spectacular vegetarian dishes your profit margin will soar as grateful patrons will be happy to pay even an inflated price for a good meal that did not cost you that much to produce. Think about it.

UncleVic
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RE: Imagination Needed - Sat, 08/27/05 4:02 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Greyghost


If you come up with a few spectacular vegetarian dishes your profit margin will soar as grateful patrons will be happy to pay even an inflated price for a good meal that did not cost you that much to produce. Think about it.


You posted in the right forum here.. And when you mention profit margins, you've never worked / managed a restaurant.. Atleast in my neck of the woods.. Vegan just dont cut it.. I've tried it in a couple of the restaurnats I've managed (alternative menus), but it just didnt sell. Salads ya, vegan menu, NO... It's really not cost effective keeping a product on the shelf (or in the freezer) that will go bad before it can be sold. I know of a couple vegan specialty places that have started up and folded in under a year.. And from experience, I know why... They'd been better off starting up a glorified salad bar.. I have a good freind thats a vegan.. I'll ask her opinion and post it here within the next day or so..

Jimeats
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RE: Imagination Needed - Sat, 08/27/05 5:37 AM
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I think to satisfy both your palates you might try a good Italian Restarunt. They have a great many meat less dishes that are outstanding. Chow Jim

tiki
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RE: Imagination Needed - Sat, 08/27/05 10:14 AM
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i know its not very helpful--but my only reccomendation is to move to California---there are LOTS of vegan alternatives there--as a matter of fact MOST places will offer several vegetatrian meals---its practically a given there that is 4 people sit at a table to eat at least one will be vegitarian, so if a new place intends to stay in business out there they practically MUST cater to all taste and diets. and Jimeats is right---a GOOD Italian place will and should have LOTS of vegetarian meals available---comes from all those years of no meat on fridays!---(NOTE_Vegan and vegitarian are NOT the same---ie-vegans will not eat butter and eggs or mayo but lots of vegitarians will so its best to ask.)

Diner-Lover
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RE: Imagination Needed - Sat, 08/27/05 11:03 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by tiki

(NOTE_Vegan and vegitarian are NOT the same---ie-vegans will not eat butter and eggs or mayo but lots of vegitarians will so its best to ask.)

There's such a difference between vegan and vegetarian, that it's got to be a real challenge for restaurant owners to cater to vegan patrons who won't eat any foods of animal origin. It seems like vegetarians would be easier to cater to since they'll eat eggs and cheese. Eggplant parmesan or vegetarian lasagna or other meatless casseroles or dishes with pasta, beans, cheese, etc. (Mexican-type dishes, for instance ) would seem to be dishes that could be added to most menus that would sell. But, I'm not in the business, so I defer to those who are.

sho4go
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RE: Imagination Needed - Tue, 08/30/05 5:56 PM
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We operate a B&B as well as the restaurant and offer a candlelight dinner on Sat evenings to our guests and the public by reservation only. We had B&B guests who wanted us to reduce the cost of their meal because we were replacing the meat item with a vegetable based entree. So the notion that they are willing to pay more doesn't neccessarily hold water.

Bill in East Texas

Greyghost
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RE: Imagination Needed - Tue, 08/30/05 8:25 PM
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Bill in East Texas:

I appreciate your post regarding your real world experience. Perhaps I made a faulty assumption in my original post. I assumed that just because my wife and I are willing to pay more, others would as well. I do wonder if your experience is dictated by where you are located, however. I would think Texas would have fewer vegetarians than other states as it has a long history as a great beef producing state and as a travel destination for beef lovers.

I don't think any of this is rocket science. I would think a few vegetarian dishes could be prepared in advance and frozen. Perhaps something like a vegetable pot pie, precooked, frozen and heated quickly via microwave. For many a fish dish would suffice, unfortunately my wife is allergic to shellfish and is hesitant to try fish in general because of that.

It must be difficult to run a B&B. I would have a hard time smiling while gritting my teeth If I had your experience with guests that wanted a discount simply because a dish you worked hard on to develop had no meat. Now that's tacky and could very well be the definition of tacky. You have my sympathy in that regard.

MEANCHEF
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RE: Imagination Needed - Wed, 08/31/05 7:41 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Diner-Lover

quote:
Originally posted by tiki

(NOTE_Vegan and vegitarian are NOT the same---ie-vegans will not eat butter and eggs or mayo but lots of vegitarians will so its best to ask.)

There's such a difference between vegan and vegetarian, that it's got to be a real challenge for restaurant owners to cater to vegan patrons who won't eat any foods of animal origin. It seems like vegetarians would be easier to cater to since they'll eat eggs and cheese. Eggplant parmesan or vegetarian lasagna or other meatless casseroles or dishes with pasta, beans, cheese, etc. (Mexican-type dishes, for instance ) would seem to be dishes that could be added to most menus that would sell. But, I'm not in the business, so I defer to those who are.


You are so right. As a professionAL cHEF AND CATERER (ok the irrational moderator jackass will ding me for caps) cooking for vegetarians is relatively easy, but Vegans I will not ever cater for.

Adjudicator
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RE: Imagination Needed - Wed, 08/31/05 8:28 PM
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This is just my perhaps ignorant observation regarding this post. If, in general, "meat" is so costly to produce from start to slaughter, etc., (NOT talking about hamburger meat, etc.), then why is a similar "non-meat" product the same price or even more expensive in a restaurant or even at a grocery store? Raising an "ear of corn", etc, has no comparision to "raising a cow"...
I believe I already know the answer to this, but I would appreciate comments from others.

bassrocker4u2
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RE: Imagination Needed - Thu, 09/1/05 6:56 AM
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its not that the ingredients cost equal to a meat, its that a restaurant owner knows that he will throw away a ton of veggie entres before serving one due to slow sales. so that has cost is passed to the customer.
greyghost, you said your wife will eat fish? that should not be hard to find, eh?
i have some bbq customers with vegetarian spouses. they wont eat fish, but they will eat cheese. i made a few dishes for the, but the one they love most is a simple baked potato with saute veggies and cheese and garlic bread.
as for microwave veggie pot pie, uuggghhh.. the crust wont hold.
its a tough life for veggies.....
down in fl, there is a palce called 'sweet tomatoes'
its a huge veggie buffet. pretty awesome, i must say.
but after stuffing myself there, i gotta stop for a triple cheeseburger....heehee