HELP SPREAD THE VEGAN PIZZA LOVE!
We want to make it easy and fun to be vegan and ordering a hot, steaming pizza is one of the joys of life! Our goal is for every pizza shop to have a pizza with vegan cheese, and that is where you come in. The animals, and your fellow vegans, need your help.
Be part of the vegan pizza project and ask your local pizza shop if they would offer a vegan pizza. Below is a letter to the shop that you can cut and paste and add their individual info as well as outreach tips on how to approach the pizzerias. If you are successful and get a restaurant to offer vegan pizza on their menu, be sure to let us know and we will post their info to our Vegan Pizza Places list.
If you would like to be part of spreading the pizza love in your community and have questions, please contact Hope Bohanec: firstname.lastname@example.org 415-448-0058 or 707-540-1760.
RESTAURANT OUTREACH TIPS
Thank you for your interest in IDA's Vegan Pizza Takes Over the World campaign. Our goal is to make eating vegan easy, fun, and accessible to every community. You can help with just a few minutes of your time by reaching out to your local pizzeria and asking them to offer a vegan pizza. One of the best aspects of restaurant outreach is that a single person can make a direct and lasting difference for animals.
Here are some helpful hints for your outreach efforts.
Which Restaurant to Approach
Consider which establishments may be more open to changes in their menus. Family-owned or independent restaurants are more likely to take customers' suggestions than national chains. Independent restaurants are generally free of the red tape associated with national chains, so they can make decisions more rapidly and implement the new offerings immediately, keeping them at the cutting edge of the burgeoning vegan market.
When deciding who to approach, please be sure to ask if the crust and sauce on their pizza is vegan, so it can be a truly vegan pizza.
After Choosing a Restaurant, What's Next?
Face-to-face meetings are key, so schedule a brief appointment with the owner, manager, or whoever makes menu decisions. A phone conversation will probably not do it. Assure the owner you won't take up much time but would like to discuss the establishment offering a vegan pizza. You are welcome to mention that you are a volunteer representing In Defense of Animals, your local organization, or that you are just a vegan community member wanting more options.
Try to keep your conversation and any responses to questions (during the meeting and otherwise) focused on the growing popularity and appeal of vegan eating, rather than the ethical reasons for veganism. You're there to encourage a restaurant owner to offer more animal-friendly items, not to explain your philosophical beliefs. If the owner feels judged or lectured to, chances are good the meeting will not be productive, which does not help the animals.
Here are some tips to make your meeting run smoothly and effectively:
1. Dress professionally. First impressions are extremely important, especially when you are presenting an unfamiliar concept to someone. Dressing as you would at a job interview helps boost your credibility.
2. What to bring. Bring the letter, addressed to him/her personally. Not all restaurant owners are familiar with the concepts of vegetarianism or veganism so be sure to have materials to help them understand why increasing numbers of people are opting for animal-free foods. Taking along vegan literature can help their decision to include more compassionate fare, however, make this brief. You are there to talk about the vegan pizza, not get him/her to go vegan. We will send you some brochures and a vegan starter kit if you need these.
3. Be appreciative and friendly. As soon as you meet the owner, introduce yourself and thank her or him for allowing you the opportunity to meet. And throughout the course of the meeting, don't forget to smile!
4. Be honest. Chances are the owner will have a string of questions. Answer truthfully. If you aren't sure of a response, simply tell the owner you will research the question and provide an answer within a specified time period.
5. Explain the appeal of vegan items. For many people, there is no difference between "vegetarian" and "vegan" fare. Explain that vegans opt not to consume any animal products, including whey and casein, and that adding completely animal-free items to menus will appeal to vegetarians, those with lactose-intolerance or health concerns, as well as vegans.
6. People want vegan cheese. Explain that vegan options are in demand. Approximately 24,000 people a month go to the Daiya cheese website to see where they can find Daiya in their community. Daiya has a directory of establishments that offer their cheese that they would be added to.
7. Offer a sample of Daiya cheese. If you can, go pick up a bag of Daiya cheese for them to sample. If they like it and want to use it, they can then contact Daiya directly for distribution options.
8. Be helpful. Even if the restaurant owner is enthusiastic about adding more animal-friendly menu items, the next step in actually implementing this may seem daunting. Offering your help in any capacity shows your commitment to the campaign and your follow-through proves your professionalism.
9. Be sure to thank them. At the meeting's end, thank the owner again for taking the time in a busy day to meet with you.
10. Schedule a follow-up date. Give the restaurant owner/manager time to digest the ideas and talk with the chef and other decision makers, so suggest that you'll check back in-via phone or a meeting-to see if you can do anything to help with the process.
11. Take notes. Please keep records of your progress, what date you talked to whom, what the shop says, etc. This will be helpful for you and for us if they do not take us up on the offer and we ever want to approach them again.
12. Please share your results with us. Please do let me know you progress, what shops were not interested and of course, if you get a shop to have a vegan pizza! We want to promote them properly, so please keep me informed.
You Can Do It!
Remember, all it takes is one person to make a major difference in changing everyday restaurants into vegan-friendly havens. If you don't have luck with one, try another. Good luck!
LETTER TO PIZZA SHOPS
Dear (Name of Pizza Shop Owner/Manager),
I would like to invite you to participate in a campaign to help you grow your customer base and increase sales while reducing your restaurant's carbon footprint and helping animals at the same time. In Defense of Animals is encouraging pizzerias across the world to add a vegan pizza option to their menu featuring Daiya cheese (pronounced DAY-aa), a vegan cheese that melts, stretches and tastes like traditional dairy-based cheese. Including a simple vegan option allows you to show your support of numerous ethical, environmental, and social issues while benefiting from the increase in sales from a new customers base.
The vegan lifestyle is picking up steam; celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Lea Michelle, Carrie Underwood, Emily Deschanel, Tobey Maguire, and Bill Clinton among many others, have all made this compassionate and healthy lifestyle choice. While the number of vegetarians is growing every year (an estimated 20 million in 2006), the number of non-vegetarians who often order vegan meals at restaurants is also growing dramatically. The National Restaurant Association named vegan entrees a "hot trend" for 2011. Consider these facts:
- 57% of all restaurant-goers sometimes, often, or always order a vegan/vegetarian item when dining out (Zogby International).
- The health and eco-conscious population contributed to the growth of a $1.2 billion market for vegan goods (primarily dairy, egg, cheese and meat substitutes),(New York Times, Jan. 11, 2007).
- 35% of adults aged 45 to 64 regularly consume vegan foods and milk alternatives, such as soy or rice milk (Mintel Consumer Intelligence Survey).
Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to participate. Thank you for your consideration.
Volunteer, In Defense of Animals