Wagamama, Beyond Meat and Wicked Kitchen endorse new sustainable dining campaign
Wagamama, Beyond Meat, Wicked Kitchen and plant-based chef Derek Sarno have announced their support for 50by25, a new campaign calling on restaurants to add more plant-based options to their menus in order to help the planet.
Launched by UK-based charity, Viva!, the campaign is asking all restaurants to make 50% of their menu plant-based by the end of 2025, in efforts to reduce their impact on the environment and encourage consumers to eat more plant-based meals.
The charity will be contacting leading restaurants, asking them to remove meat dishes and replace them with animal-free alternatives, as well as working with smaller restaurants to help them make the switch.
Wagamama has already made their menu 50% plant-based and the 50by25 campaign is now calling on other restaurants to follow suit.
Scientists state that the animal agriculture industry is a leading cause of climate change, with studies suggesting that we should all be eating more plant-based meals. Despite this, many Brits are unaware of the connection between what they eat and how it impacts the environment. 50by25 will raise awareness of this concept, helping the UK reduce its overall carbon footprint by supporting people to opt for plant-based meals when they dine out.
Furthermore, endorsing the 50by25 initiative will assist companies in achieving their ESG goals. This is particularly crucial for large, publicly listed companies, as reporting on ESG goals is mandatory for them.
Restaurants who opt into 50by25 will also benefit as the demand for sustainable food options will increase over time, with consumers becoming more invested in eating planet-friendly foods. Brands who participate will be taking an active stance towards hitting their sustainability goals while simultaneously increasing their customer base.
"We’re told by science that what we eat is one of the most impactful choices we all have to reduce our footprint on the environment," commented Steven Mangleshot, Executive Chef, Wagamama. "In 2021, we made 50% of our menu plant-based, making it easier for our guests to support the planet, while spreading positivity, through our nourishing food, from bowl to soul.”
“At Beyond Meat, we strongly believe there’s a better way to feed our future," added Steve Parsons, UK & I Foodservice Manager at Beyond Meat. "We’re delighted to support 50by25 and make dining more sustainable, one plate at a time. Fortunately, Brits can still enjoy their favorite meal while making a difference to the planet simply by shifting the protein at the centre of the plate to plant-based meat, no sacrifice required. Designed to have the same taste and texture as animal-based meat, our portfolio of juicy plant-based meats is loved by carnivores, flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans alike, making it easier for chefs to serve up quality plant-based dishes.”
Alexis Gauthier, chef patron of Gauthier Soho, said: “Our Michelin-starred French restaurant, Gauthier Soho, committed to be entirely plant based in 2021. The challenge French cuisine presents is one I am savouring and the creativity it has unleashed in me, has kept our diners entertained, happy and surprised. Knowing our work is breaking boundaries, whilst saving the planet and animals is so gratifying. 50by25 offers the opportunity for UK chefs to embrace all the goodness the plant kingdom has to offer and add a sustainability and kindness lens to their work.
"Chefs are the master artists of flavor, with restaurants as their canvases," stated Derek Sarno, plant-based chef and former executive chef and director of plant-based innovation at Tesco. "By crafting plant-based dishes that put taste and satisfaction front and centre, chefs and restaurants can profoundly shift eating habits and attract a new wave of devoted customers. These plant-based menu items aren't just alternatives; they're top picks. This is where true innovation blossoms. It's where sustainability pairs with 'surprise and delight', and what's been missing are the culinary leaders who truly understand taste, choice and impact. In my journey, I've witnessed the magic chefs create with whole foods and groundbreaking plant-based ingredients. The 50by25 initiative is our call to action. By aiming for menus with 50 per cent plant-based options by 2025, chefs, restaurants, and the entire food service industry can unite to pave the way for a future that's as mouth-watering as it is sustainable.”
“We know that eating a plant-based diet is the most impactful way to reduce emissions, prevent wildlife loss and soil degradation, as well as promote biodiversity," concluded Juliet Gellatley, Viva!’s Founder & Director. "We are delighted to be working with the UK’s most forward-thinking businesses to support restaurants in making their menus more climate friendly while increasing choice for consumers. After all, we only have one planet!”
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