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Leading the Way: How Ovolo Hotels is Pioneering the Vegetarian Movement as Plant-Based Eating Goes Global 

leading the way

Vegetarianism has been on the rise globally for years, with more and more people choosing to adopt a plant-based diet either for health reasons, personal beliefs or as a way to reduce their carbon footprint. In recent years, the trend has gained significant momentum, with major publications such as Forbes and The Guardian reporting on the growing popularity of vegetarianism and veganism worldwide. 

According to some interesting vegetarian facts found in a study by the Vegetarian Resource Group, the number of vegetarians in the United States has increased by 600% since 2014, with 6% of the population identifying as vegetarian in 2020. In the UK, a survey by The Vegan Society found that the number of vegans has increased by 360% in the last decade.  

Australia’s Plant-Based Eating on the Rise – How restaurants are handling the Vegetarian shift  

On a global scene, Australia is experiencing a significant increase in plant-based eating, with Google Trends reporting a 40% increase in searches for “vegan” over the past year. 

On 1 October 2020, Ovolo Hotels announced the Year of the Veg. For 365 days, all of the restaurants and bars in the eight Ovolo Hotels committed to ditching meat from the menu and serving up vibrant vegetarian and plant-based cuisine.  

Girish Jhunjhnuwala, Founder & Executive Chairman of Ovolo Hotels, explains that the decision was motivated by a desire to promote healthy eating and reduce the environmental impact of meat production in his most recent LinkedIn sharing

“When Ovolo Hotels went fully vegetarian in the middle of the pandemic, many people were doubting us,” says Girish Jhunjhnuwala. “And yet, we received massive support from our guests, loving not just our meat-free menus, but the philosophy behind them.” 

Why go vegetarian? The move towards vegetarianism is not just limited to individual dietary choices, but also reflects a broader cultural shift towards sustainability and ethical consumption. In recent years, there has been growing concern about the impact of meat production on the environment, with many people becoming vegetarian to help reduce their carbon footprint.  

According to a report by the United Nations, livestock production accounts for 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions, making it a major contributor to climate change. By reducing meat consumption or becoming vegetarian, individuals can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and help to mitigate the impact of global warming.

Matthew Bentley, Executive Chef at Ovolo Hotels in Canberra, has played a key role in creating plant-based menus that are both delicious and sustainable for Monster Kitchen & Bar

 “Creating a plant-based menu is exciting because you can play with a variety of flavours and textures,” says Bentley. “It’s not just about substituting meat, but rather elevating vegetables and using them as the focus of the dish.” 

At Monster Kitchen & Bar, Bentley has recently created a seasonal menu that showcases the versatility of vegetables, from salt baked celeriac to parsnip mousse, all perfectly suited for the Australian winter.  

Hong Kong Adapts to Growing Demand for Plant-Based Options 

And while Australia is leading the way for the elevated plant-based dining, Asia-Pacific is yet another region, where vegetarian dining has been on the slow, but steady uprise.

In recent years, several vegetarian and vegan restaurants have opened in Hong Kong, catering to the growing demand for plant-based options, according to the most recent SCMP article.  

How Plant’d Playbook from Ovolo Hotels can Help Hospitality Businesses Embrace The Power of Plants 

As the trend towards vegetarianism continues to grow, it is clear that plant-based eating is no longer just a fad but a sustainable and ethical choice. Ovolo Hotels have released the Plant’d Playbook, for any hospitality business that is looking to go vegetarian but questioning the right approach. Plant’d Playbook has all the vegetarian facts, necessary strategies, tips and tricks, discovered by Ovolo Hotels not by mere research, but from business experience. 

By reducing meat consumption and embracing vegan or vegetarian cuisine, individuals can not only improve their health but also help to mitigate the impact of climate change.  

With innovative hospitality professionals leading the way, there has never been a better time to embrace the power of plants.