Wagamama has become the UK’s first high street chain to make at least half of its menu vegan.
The pan-Asian restaurant announced a new plant-based menu today.
Staff at 154 branches now serve spicy teriyaki vegan ‘chicken’ steamed buns, spicy vegan “short rib” ramen, teriyaki vegan “chicken” ramen, and shu’s “shiok” jackfruit.
Ahead of the United Nation’s COP26 climate conference on November 1, Wagamama is rewarding customers who pledge a “small choice for big change”.
The Plant Pledge campaign encourages people to eat less meat and dairy.
The retailer is also offering free vegan sides until November – to start fans on their plant-based journey.
Global executive chef Steve Mangleshot and his team said their vegan alternative to chicken matches the taste and texture of pulled meat.
CEO Thomas Heier added: “This menu launch marks an important moment for us as a business, as we officially make our menu 50 per cent plant-based.
“We’ve been making choices, both big and small, to tread more lightly on our earth.
“We’re privileged to have restaurants in most major UK cities, therefore feel a real responsibility and exciting opportunity to make plant-based food as accessible as possible to all guests no matter their dietary preferences.
“We feel passionately that plant-based food can be just as nourishing and delicious.
“We hope our new menu will influence a positive spike in plant-based menu participation from our guests.”
Clare Oxborrow, of Friends of the Earth, supported the chain, adding: “Broadening menus so that plant-based food is the first option, or a desirable one, is a great thing to do.
“The more people that realise it isn’t a compromise, that these dishes are tasty and flavour-packed, the more appetite there will be to widen menus even further.
“Eating less and better dairy and meat is really important as we confront the climate and nature crises.
“The Plant Pledge campaign is well placed to dispel the notion that food that’s kind to the planet isn’t appealing, so it’s a welcome one.
“More establishments will see that this initiative from Wagamama is successful, and we encourage them to follow suit in making plant-based options both accessible and crucially, delicious.”