The new Meatless Monday Restaurant Implementation Guide is the right menu for right now as trends show that consumers are increasingly seeking plant-based dishes when dining out. This guide provides restaurants—whether fine dining, casual or quick-service—background and guidance to help start and promote a Meatless Monday program, while keeping meat on their menus.
To develop the guide, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future, a scientific adviser for the Meatless Monday movement, gathered feedback from organizations that have implemented Meatless Monday and learned that customers respond well when they realize the many health and environmental benefits of going Meatless Monday.
By implementing Meatless Monday, restaurants can attract new customers, help diners move towards healthier eating habits as well as show their commitment to food sustainability and the health of the planet. The guide covers topics such as: Meatless Monday benefits; how to get started; strategies for success; talking points to train staff; and evaluation criteria to assess how well Meatless Monday performs.
In addition to the implementation guide, restaurants can download a ZIP file to access a new promotional kit, which includes posters, signs, table tents and graphics. The kit and guide are available at http://www.meatlessmonday.com/meatless-monday-restaurants/
Dana Smith, campaign director for Meatless Monday, cited research that revealed the reasons restaurants highlight meatless options on their menus during the first day of the week:
One compelling reason is that a Meatless Monday promotion drives traffic and attracts new customers. This gives consumers a strong reason to dine with you and try something new on Monday, typically a slow restaurant day. In addition, a meatless promotion helps improve financial performance. Recent reports indicate that the price of plant-based foods is less volatile and more predictable than meat. By encouraging diners to eat more plant-based dishes, you can better forecast and manage your food cost.
Meatless Monday is a nonprofit public health initiative founded by Sid Lerner, chairman of The Monday Campaigns. The initiative is in association with the Lerner Centers for Public Health Promotion at Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse universities. Meatless Monday encourages the public to cut back on meat consumption one day a week to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer, and lessen the environmental impact of meat production on climate change, water and land use. The campaign is founded on research that demonstrates Monday is the day we are most primed to start and sustain a healthy new behavior. Since its launch 14 years ago, Meatless Monday has become an international movement in more than 40 countries with support from governments, schools, celebrities, restaurants, and local and global organizations around the world.