Reading Time: 2 minutes The chain is being urged to add vegan cheese to it menu (Photo: Papa John's)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Multiple people on social media have accused pizza giant Papa John’s of knowingly serving them dairy cheese – when they had ordered vegan.

The chain launched vegan cheese yesterday as part of its new plant-based menu in the UK. The launch followed a petition, which was set up by animal rights organization Animal Aid and website Vegan Food UK, and was signed by 30,000 people.

According to Papa John’s social media, the cheese has been popular, with a tweet revealing: “We are almost out of stock within a day! Thank you for such an overwhelming response! If you didn’t manage to order yours don’t worry! We are stocking up as soon as possible.”

Non-vegan cheese

According to multiple people on social media, they were given dairy cheese – with branch staff saying they had made the substitution after running out.

“Just had a horrible experience of getting given dairy cheese instead of vegan cheese and adamantly told it was vegan,” said one Twitter user called Ollie. “Waited two hours for another pizza to then be rang and told they ran out of stock hours ago. Only offered a pizza another time or a refund.”

“Hearing a lot of stories about @PapaJohnsUK restaurants putting dairy cheese on a pizza when they’ve asked for vegan sheese,” added Amy Cate. “Then when questioned they’ve either said they ran out of vegan cheese or they’ve insulted the customer and said no refunds.”

One social media user called Sam W highlighted the complaints in a Twitter thread, saying: “We had it last night and really enjoyed it but I’ve seen multiple reports from other vegans who were given dairy cheese due to staff not understanding! Please make sure your staff are properly trained on this. It’s serious and it matters!”

‘Matter of urgency’

Papa John’s replied saying: “Glad you enjoyed yours Sam. We’re aware of the the reports and we’re working hard with the stores to fix things asap. We know it’s not OK and it’s a big deal for us to get it right. Thanks for your feedback.”

Another tweet from the company said: “Please rest assured that this is being looked into as a matter of urgency and being taken extremely seriously – we are looking to put things right asap.”

Plant Based News has contacted Papa John’s for comment.

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Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.