“Sales of our meat-free burgers have grown more than 100 per cent in the past year alone, and the biggest and most surprising increase we’ve seen is in the number of meat-eaters who are now choosing plant-based options – especially in the under 30s age group. Whether it’s for health reasons, animal rights or climate change, the demand is very real. We genuinely believe plant-based alternatives will play a huge part in the future of burgers.” – Simon Crowe
Simon Crowe is Founder and Managing Director of Grill’d, Australia’s largest privately-owned burger restaurant group. Grill’d went meat free for 24 hours on Monday 15 April 2019 across its 137 restaurants nationwide. The Meat Free Monday initiative was designed to encourage more customers to substitute meat for plant-based protein alternatives driven by both health and environmental factors. It coincided with their launch of four new Beyond Meat Burgers and marked a key turning point for the company, which turns 15 this year and plans to make 50 per cent of its menu plant based by 2020.
“At itsu, 40% of our menu is vegan including hot food, salads and sushi. We see this as being core to our philosophy of eating healthily and incorporating more vegetables into our diets. Joining the Meat Free Monday campaign has given us another opportunity to help celebrate positive and healthy lifestyles. On top of this, in late 2018 we introduced our ‘no meat Mondays’ dish to encourage our customers to think about reducing their meat intake once a week. Eat beautiful.”
itsu is an Asian-inspired restaurant chain offering healthy sushi, salads, soups, rice bowls and noodles. The early pioneers of Pret are the creative force behind itsu – a place dedicated to lower fat, lower calorie, delicious food. Its ‘eat beautiful’ menu celebrates the flavours of the Far East; high in nutrients yet refreshingly low in calories and saturated fat.
“We’ve come on leaps and bounds in the UK in offering more veggie and vegan-friendly dishes, or for those who simply want to reduce the amount of meat they eat. It’s something our regular customers asks for a lot, but with our small menu at the restaurant it can be tricky to strike a balance. By introducing Meat Free Monday at Oldroyd we now have the opportunity to dedicate one whole day to a delicious, fruit and vegetable-based menu.” – Tom Oldroyd
Oldroyd is the first solo restaurant from former Chef Director of the Polpo Group, Tom Oldroyd. It opened its doors in 2015 in Islington and offers a daily changing European menu built around the best seasonal British ingredients. Mondays at Oldroyd restaurant are now exclusively meat free, with menus built solely of vegetarian and vegan dishes.
“I’ve been vegetarian since 11 and have seen a huge shift in the perception of vegetarian food and drink since the late eighties. It’s great that I’m now able to showcase the best in vegetarian food by using modern, innovative techniques throughout 1847. We’re always looking at ways to encourage diners to try plant based foods and what perfect way to support this by offering a great discount each and every Monday.” – Damien Davenport
Damian Davenport is the owner the 1847 restaurants which specialise in high quality, locally produced vegetarian, vegan and gluten free dining in their restaurants in Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester, named after the year the Vegetarian Society was formed. To celebrate Meat Free Monday, all 1847 restaurants offer 50% off your total bill if you book online quoting MFM.
“nu dish is a ‘veggie-tainment’ (vegetable + entertainment) café dining experience! You can enjoy our special recipes featuring beautiful and healthy vegan food.” – Ayuna Matsuno
Ayuna Matsuno is the manager of nu dish, a vegan restaurant in situated in Ginza, Tokyo. To lower the barrier to veganism, which is not familiar in Japan, nu dish offers a special ‘Veggie Monday Lunch’ at an affordable price every Monday. The restaurant hosts a regular veggie and music live stage ‘MFM Night’ event.
“I like the idea of conscious attitudes to our environment. As a result, I support all the methods and programmes aimed at protecting and saving our planet, and when I found out about MFM I had no doubt that I should join it. When you help the environment you help yourself. And this is the best investment.” – Irina Azarova
Irina Azarova is the founder of the first vegetarian restaurant in Moscow, Fresh, which opened on Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street in 2012. A second restaurant was opened in the Patriarch Ponds district two years later. With the motto “healthy is the new sexy”, Fresh serves healthy, seasonal dishes in a modern and stylish setting.
“Since opening our doors in June 2014, we have been gaining a reputation for our innovative and tasty vegetarian options so we see joining Meat Free Monday as a natural move for us. We just want to celebrate the amazing things our chefs do with the humble vegetable!” – James Bates
James Bates, along with Thomas White and Dominic Jones, are the three directors/co-founders of Maray, an independent small plate and cocktail restaurant located at the top of Liverpool’s bustling Bold Street. Maray puts sustainability and provenance at the heart of everything they do. Each Monday they offer diners the opportunity to select any four vegan or vegetarian small plates to share for £20, including weekly Meat Free Monday specials.
“We, at Mziuri Cafe, are excited to be the first social enterprise cafe in the Caucasus to join the Meat Free Monday campaign. For us it’s not just about inclusiveness, or the love of Beatles. It’s about offering our vegetarian and meat loving customers delicious dishes so that they enjoy the amazing tastes of our vegetarian salads, soups and coffee.” – Anna Goguadze
Anna Goguadze is the Founder of the Mziuri Cafe, in Tbilisi, Georgia. Situated in one of the city’s most beautiful parks, the cafe functions as a social enterprise, with profits being reinvested into the development of the park. Social responsibility is a key part of the business and the cafe is the first in Georgia to be accessible to blind and visually impaired customers and those using wheelchairs. The Mziuri Cafe started supporting MFM in April, 2017, replacing meat dishes with vegan alternatives on Mondays.
“With the ever growing shift of consumers looking for a change and variety in their diets we thought it was important to diversify our offerings and show that we really care about all our guests options and needs. Joining the Meat Free Monday Campaign has given us a platform to celebrate a positive and healthy lifestyle. Diversifying our menu gave us the opportunity to explore and create delicious pizzas, coffees, cocktails and desserts using the simplest and healthiest of ingredients.” – Matthew Farrell
Matthew Farrell he is one of the directors of Graffiti Spirits Group which owns Santa Maluco, a Rodizio (all you can eat) style pizza restaurant in the heart of Liverpool. Santa Maluco combines Brazilian flare mixed with some old authentic Italian traditions and offers Vegan Mondays where all pizzas are fully plant based.
Samurai Ramen UMAMI
“Meat Free Monday encourages a healthier and greener Earth and at Samurai Ramen UMAMI restaurant we are able to support people who join this initiative by offering vegan food. We invite people of all cultures and religions to try our Japanese cuisine.” – Miho Yano
Miho Yano is the manager of Samurai Ramen UMAMI Restaurant Malaysia, located inside AEON Tebrau City Mall in Johor Bahru. With the aim of “Making a Ramen Revolution in the world”, Samurai Ramen offers an advanced Japanese-style ramen, bursting with a premium UMAMI soup, to satisfy the taste buds of any ramen aficionado critic.