A host of vegan restaurants have been popping up all over the country as more and more people are giving the plant-based diet a try. Veggie Grill, Loving Hut and Native Foods are among some of the more notable chains around the United States, with over 100 locations.
Fast Casual Struggles
When looking at the period from January 1st, 2017 through November 30th, 2019 for both Veggie Grill and Loving Hut, there is a steady decline in foot traffic. When analyzing Veggie Grill’s 2019 traffic year-over-year, we do see a noticeable decrease. Considering that the brand had enjoyed significant growth, the decrease may be more attributable to a wider struggle in the Fast Casual sector.
The Silver Lining?
Contrary to the above, Native Foods saw an overall traffic increase from 2018 to 2019 of just under 1% when comparing the first eleven months of 2019 to the same period the year before. With the popular diet hitting peak popularity, it’s critical for brands to continue to find ways to optimize their overall footprint and marketing efforts in order to cater to this niche market.
Is “going vegan” just a fad, or will veganites drive enough foot traffic for these restaurants to stay afloat? The greatest risk to vegan focused restaurants may not be their lack of popularity, but the growing inclusion of vegan-friendly options to mainstream restaurant chains.