Keeping it cost effective

Ensuring your menu is delivering on quality and cost effectiveness is extremely important for foodservice providers, especially in today's market. Below we have put together some ideas to ensure that your meat free menu options are as cost effective as posible for your business.

Price is top of mind when it comes to consumers purchasing meat substitutes

One in ten consumers are now choosing plant-based alternatives because they represent better value.¹ With more consumers looking for new ways to save money but still indulge on favourite menu items, meat substitutes on menus could be a great way to appeal to this demographic. At least 52% of red meat/poultry eaters say they would buy meat substitutes that were cheaper than meat.²

Appeal for meat alternatives

46% of UK consumers are considering reducing their intake of animal products in the future.³ This suggests there’s an appeal for plant-based products and meat alternatives amongst people who are not necessarily vegan or vegetarian and therefore including more meat free alternatives on your menu is a perfect way to cut back on costs!

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Using beans and pulses to build your dishes

Tinned beans and dried pulses are essentials that all chefs have in their stores. They are also key staples in vegan and vegetarian cooking to replace meat as the protein within the dish. Building vegetarian or vegan dishes that require no centre of plate meat but deliver on all round flavour can help you keep costs down. Think warming stews, curries and soups. You could even re-create and eleveate a nostalgic classic, beans on toast using butter beans in a delicious smokey tomato sauce on sourdough toast. Delicious!

Frozen foods

Similar to beans and pulses, using frozen foods can be a great way to keep the costs down and they also lock in a huge amount of their nutrients when frozen. Why not try our frozen mixed vegetables? They are ideal as a base for so many dishes including a meat free shepherd’s pie. A lot of our amazing wholesale desserts are actually frozen and pre-portioned which makes them cost effective by reducing waste. We’ve also launched some amazing frozen pre-prepared salads!! Take a look at our Cuisin’Easy range.

High-cost, low-profit menu items

Many businesses have items on the menu that, despite the high cost and valuable time to make, don’t perform as well as other items. It’s a good habit to continually evaluate the performance of your menu vs time and cost and identify menu options that could be removed or replaced to ensure a more efficient, cost effective menu. The money and time that you have spared could be invested within another meal or element of the establishment that you think people would enjoy more!

Streamline your menu

We understand the need to please everyone eating within your establishment but if your menu is too large because you are trying to cater to everyone’s taste, the chances are you could be confusing your customer more. Focus on what you do well. If that’s pizza and pasta, then maybe steaks and more expensive dishes can be avoided. Streamline and design a menu that you are confident in and specialises in what you do well.

This will improve efficiency in the kitchen and inventory management. It will also provide customers with more high quality meals in less time.

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Find out more about how you can keep the costs down by visiting Unlock your Menu.


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1 Mintel, Meat Substitutes, UK 2022

² Savanta 2023


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