How to Start Your Own Vegetarian Restaurant

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Have you been a veggie for as long as you remember? Or maybe you just love the food? Either way, it’s an extremely lucrative market that you can capitalise on by starting your own vegetarian restaurant. Want to find out how? Follow our tips below.

Whether it’s to live a healthier lifestyle, reduce their negative impact on the environment or for another personal reason, more and more people are starting to ‘go veggie’. It’s thought that by 2025 vegetarians will make up a quarter of the UK population and almost half of us will only eat meat occasionally - becoming ‘flexitarians’ (The Vegan Society). This year marks the first time that every top UK supermarket has sold their own vegan food range and leading restaurant chains have introduced plant-based meals to their menus. Therefore, it’s safe to say that investing in the plant-based food sector makes smart business sense. In this article, we provide our top tips for starting a vegetarian restaurant to help make sure your journey to business ownership is plain sailing.

Reasons why starting a vegetarian restaurant is a great idea

1. You can get creative

There is plenty of room to get inventive when you start a vegetarian restaurant. As the market is younger, there’s more room to develop your own signature style and play around with different tastes. 

2. You can entice customers easily

As there are lots of reasons why someone might decide to eat a plant-based meal, it’s easy marketing for your vegetarian restaurant. You might not need to work quite so hard to attract customers to pop in. Not to mention how vibrant and delicious your products can look in photographs for your social media accounts. You can get the word out about your new business online by using appealing visual marketing. 

With the surging interest in veganism, it’s not surprising to see fast-food chains jumping on the trend…The drivers influencing consumer choices include greater awareness about health-related issues as well as the environmental impact from high intake of meat and dairy products.

James McMaster, CEO of Huel

Top tips for starting a vegetarian restaurant 

If you’ve been convinced that starting a vegetarian restaurant is the career change for you, read on to find out how you can launch your own. 

1. Choose the perfect location

It may sound obvious, but you need to choose a location that is easily accessible for your target customer. Just because you offer vegetarian food, it doesn’t mean that it will only be attended by strict vegetarians or vegans. As we’ve learned, a lot of people choose this type of food because they want to live a healthier lifestyle. So why not set up shop near a gym, yoga studio or organic food and drink store? Then, you might benefit from spontaneous visits from your desired customer base. 

2. Create your perfect menu

You need to decide what you are going to serve up for your customers. You could choose to have a consistent theme for your restaurant, for instance, the dishes could be inspired by one type of cuisine or a single country of origin. Or maybe if you were feeling adventurous you could offer a tasty vegetarian meal from every corner of the globe!

3. Consider how you will source and store your produce

Running a vegetarian restaurant does bring some unique challenges that you need to keep in mind. As many of your menu items will be made from fresh produce, you need to make sure that you have frequent buying cycles to stop food spoiling too quickly. One of the best things about choosing a vegetarian meal is the deliciously fresh fruit and vegetables that form it. If your menu lacks quality ingredients, don’t expect your customers to come back for more.

4. Get the atmosphere right

Don’t forget that many people can make their own tasty vegetarian food at home, so there will have to be another reason why they are happy to part with their hard-earned cash and eat out. This is where your restaurant ambience comes in. Before you open up, make sure you have created a welcoming atmosphere that reflects your menu. 

5. Recruit the right staff

It might be a good idea to hire staff that follow the diet themselves, or at least care about or understand the lifestyle. This is even more important if you choose to operate a vegan restaurant so staff can explain the ingredients of menu items confidently. If your servers don’t follow the diet themselves, make sure you provide thorough training, so they fully understand the menu. 

Dietary restrictions are not the top reason people are trying plant-based meat alternatives… Health and curiosity are the primary drivers of plant-based meat purchases, though vegans and vegetarians are more likely to be motivated by environmental and ethical concerns.

Market intelligence firm, Numerator.  

Vegetarian restaurant franchise opportunity 


As the nation’s eating habits change, Redemption is one step ahead of the curve. This sophisticated restaurant and bar sells delicious vegan, sugar-free and wheat-free dishes, as well as alcohol-free smoothies, shakes, cocktails and beers.

  • Becoming a Redemption franchisee: If you’re an experienced restaurant operator, get in touch with Redemption on its website.

  • How much you need to invest: You’ll need at least £500,000 to set up your own Redemption location.

  • What you get for your investment: This franchise does a lot of the hard work for you. It makes sure its franchisees are given menus, operational and cultural handbooks, brand support, marketing and creative direction.

Launch your very own vegetarian restaurant 

Hopefully, by following these tips you are in a better position to launch your own vegetarian restaurant. Why not check out our vegan franchises and healthy food franchises today? You can find an opportunity that meets your financial capabilities and offers the amount of training and support you need.

>> Read more articles on the Food and Beverage sector

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