Is Your Restaurant Ready for the Pegan Diet Menu?
First thing’s first…
What is the Pegan diet?
As many would say, it’s not really a diet. It’s simply a preference in foods and that’s perfectly fine. The Paleo diet revolves around all natural foods such as cavemen would consume from the process of hunting and gathering. It’s a diet that includes nut oils, lean meats, vegetables and fruits. While the paleo diet allows for animal products and a strict vegan diet does not… there are still similarities between the two. And a combination of the diets strengths can make for some innovative menu items.
The Pegan Balance
The pegan diet was named the “latest trendy diet plan” by CookingLight, and introduced by Dr. Mark Hyman in 2015. The rule of thumb is to work by a 75%/25% rule.
- 75% of all consumption is vegetables and fruits.
*While this may seem out of reach, feel free utilize starchy veggies and fruits!
- 25% goes to lean meats, nuts, fish and other natural fats and oils.
The Pegan Menu
Incorporating the Pegan ways of dining into your menu can be a creative experience. It’s a fun inversion of the typical “protein, starch, side” dishes in which the protein is the star.
In this format, your menu items will treat proteins like a side, or exclude them all together.
In theory, we would see more “grain-bowl” dishes which offer various “toppings” and limit the amount of protein. You would want to justify your price point by offering multiple flavor experiences in one dish.
Would it Work?
This diet is a new trend, so adding these kinds of items to your menu might seem a bit risky. But there is a market out there for it. A niche market, to be sure, but a market nonetheless. There can be value in that, especially if there isn’t any competition offering similar menu items in your area.
- Health and wellness is taken more seriously now than it ever has been before. People are eating better and exercising at higher and higher rates. Organic industries, “Scratch Kitchens,” and health conscious establishments have a loyal customer base and would appreciate the your Pegan Menu approach.
- The high portion of fruits and veggies in your dishes will basically force you to work seasonally, which Is a good thing! Your clients will appreciate seasonal spins and ever- changing options.
We recommend being educational either on your website or at your restaurant. If your establishment is in the “fast-casual” family, part of your branding should exhibit the inspiration that drives your fare. If you’re incorporating this into a full-service restaurant, you should add some information to your website. You might also want to educate your waitstaff and have them explain the menu to your customers. When people understand the intent behind your menu, that are that much more likely to jump aboard.
- Your client opportunity becomes limited. Those who follow Paleo are looking restaurants with headliner proteins, and those who follow the Vegan Diet tend to favor restaurants that avoid all animal products. Pegan is a very niche market right now.
- Customers are more likely to justify pricing when proteins take the leading role. For the everyday acquiescent diner, this menu may be challenging in verifying value due to the high quantities of lower cost ingredients like vegetables.
In this case, it’s necessary to create dishes that are tastefully unfamiliar, refined and introduce your guests to new flavors and textures, therefore making up the value with a gastronomic experience.
In the case of the pegan diet, you want to take the opportunity to be different. Make your dishes tastefully unfamiliar, refined, and exciting. Use this opportunity to introduce your guests to new flavors and textures.