A London pub has tripled its sales after ditching animal products from its menu.
The Blacksmith and Toffeemaker in Islington switched to a fully plant-based menu earlier this month, and says sales are three times what they would expect at this time of year.
According to General Manager Sam Pryor, who has been vegan for a year, there were a number of reasons for the pub going vegan.
He said: “From a sustainability point of view it’s tragic to see the huge amount of resources that go into feeding livestock for meat only for us to have to throw unsold meat out once it’s past its use-by date.
“No matter how smart you are with ordering, there is always waste where meat and dairy products are involved.
“This aspect isn’t really seen by the customer but most people in the trade would acknowledge that it is a big issue.”
Concerns over animal welfare were also a key driver.
Pryor describes intensive farming as ‘horrifying’, and says it is something the pub was unwilling to ‘be complicit’ in.
He adds: “The unstoppable drive for more land to grow animal feed, communities displaced and workers exploited to provide something that we end up simply throwing away is fundamentally unethical.”
The new vegan menu includes a ‘Halloumi’ and kimchi burger; a spicy Indian street food-style burger; and a ‘Chorizo’, jalapeno, and refried bean grilled sandwich.
The Green Mac n Cheese made with fresh basil and spinach pesto is one of the most popular of dishes.
“Many people actually prefer the new vegan version,” says Pryor.
After just 10 days of the pub’s new plant-based regime, it seems to be going well.
Pryor says: “It’s incredible. Everything we make we sell. Any increase in ingredient prices are offset by the lack of waste and we basically have free marketing courtesy of the incredibly supportive vegan community.
“Everyone is willing us to succeed which is something you just don’t get with any other crowd.
“We are 100 percent staying vegan for as long as the pub is standing.
“Organizations such as Veganuary are increasing the profile of veganism in the UK all the time, and the number of people choosing a vegan diet is growing exponentially.”