The inspiration behind Sustainable Kitchen
Those who have a food allergy, intolerance or a dietary restriction, know all too well how difficult and frustrating eating out can be.
Our Founder, Julie, started Sustainable Kitchen because of her very personal experience of just that.
By Liga Blome
For customers with specific dietary needs or lifestyle choices, too often a restaurant menu provides limited, if any choice. Often you are met with hesitant or unknowledgeable waiting staff who are unsure about the ingredients of certain menu items. As well as annoyed kitchen staff who appear to view questions, and additional requests from customers as an inconvenience. This can all leave customers feeling apologetic and awkward. Even still, these dining experiences, often result in a meal that is uninspired, and unappealing leaving you with an overall poor experience.
But thinking – “What if this could all be very different?” became the inspiration that launched Sustainable Kitchen
“What if every customer could have the same amount of choice and the same opportunity to enjoy their meal when eating out?
What if restaurants provided food and drink that suited more dietary requirements and lifestyle choices in a pro-active way, rather than as an afterthought?
What if waiting staff could feel confident in discussing menu allergens with customers, so that neither staff member nor customer felt that awkward, frustrating feeling?
And what if Kitchen teams could confidently create food that was delicious, using ingredients that meant that more customers were able to enjoy them?“
It is because of Julie’s own personal experience of dining out with food allergies to consider, that led her to set up Sustainable Kitchen
As both a customer with food allergies and a trained chef with the knowledge of ‘free-from’ and Vegan and Vegetarian cooking, our founder Julie saw a gap in the market to help not only customers, but restaurants and other hospitality providers as well.
Julie says: “For me, eating out is more than about the food on the plate, although, for someone who adores food, what is on the plate is still extremely important. Dining out, whether it be in a café, restaurant, pub, wedding or conference venue is as much about the food as it is about the experience. I understand first-hand what can be a very alienating experience of dining out with specific dietary needs, and wanted to help dining establishments deliver a better experience”.
As a Nutrition trained Natural Chef, Julie has trained and honed her skills producing food that caters to a range of dietary requirements and enjoys creating ‘free-from food’ that is ‘mainstream food’, i.e. great food that can be enjoyed by anyone, irrespective of their dietary needs.
Why is catering for these customers essential for hospitality businesses?
Why should restaurants, cafes, and caterers consider catering for these customers? Not only are there millions of people living in the UK with food allergies or intolerances, there are also customers and food consumers more generally making a conscious and considered shift to eat better food for their health, and for the environment.
The UK free-from market is worth £365 million and expected to grow by 50% by 2019
Veganism has grown in the UK by 360% over the last 10 years.
The food industry is evidently more concerned about keeping up with these trends, as well as others, such as reducing food waste and sustainability. With more focus on the environment as a key global challenge, it is very likely that customers will increasingly continue to be conscious about what they eat, where it comes from and how it is produced. And with relationships with the EU strained, the food industry is likely to be challenged further by the rise in food production and staff costs, meaning the need to think more innovatively, more inclusively and more sustainably about providing food is more important than ever
Visit Our Services page to find out more about how the Sustainable Kitchen team can help your business