UK Public Want Restaurants to Limit Their Environmental Impact Through their Menus, Survey Finds

Restaurant background

New research from the 50by25 team has found that the UK public want restaurants to take responsibility by serving environmentally friendly food. In a recent poll of 2,000 people – half of whom were vegan – it was found that 79% of the entire group polled feel it is important that restaurants limit their impact on the world through the food they serve. The simple solution – putting more plants on plates!

The poll also found that nearly seven in 10 (69%) of all respondents believe it is important to have plenty of vegan food in a city – with 52% of those citing it as being better for the environment.

It’s not just the environment that people take into consideration when choosing what to eat – taste, price and health are also key factors that guide people’s menu choices.

50by25 graphic

50by25 is a pioneering sustainable dining campaign set up to help restaurants transition to 50% plant-based menus by the end of 2025 while guiding them on how to increase demand for those dishes. Backed by leaders in the restaurant and plant-based industries, this campaign invites you to ride on the wave of culinary change to help save our planet.

On average we eat out 1.5 times a week in the UK – this gives our nation’s eateries a hugely influential platform to provide planet-friendly options that combat the climate and ecological crises while also helping shape people’s eating habits. By showcasing to the public the wide variety of tasty and affordable options there can be for them to try themselves, this campaign reaches beyond restaurants and into people’s homes. At the same time, it helps the hospitality industry tackle their own environmental footprint.

The poll indicated that people don’t just want to eat more sustainable when eating out – 79% of respondents thought it’s important for all food to have a low environmental footprint. The research found that the average omnivore has at least two meat-free days each week because of health benefits (36%), wanting a lower environmental impact (26%) and the fact it’s often cheaper (26%). This is where 50by25 can also help individuals – by raising awareness of the environmental benefits of choosing plant-based not just at restaurants but in their everyday lives as well.

Vegans aren’t the only ones celebrating the increasing number of plant-based options available across the country – the poll found that nearly 50% of non-vegans are thrilled to see the number of plant-based options growing in the mainstream.

Geographic Divide

The poll found that how easy it was to choose plant-based options varied significantly across the UK. Some cities such as Birmingham came out on top, with 63% of the adults polled pleased with the range of plant-based options on restaurant menus. Compare this to Sheffield, where only 28% of those polled were satisfied with their plant-based options when eating out.

50by25 wants to tackle this inconsistency head-on by helping restaurants across the country increase their plant-based options to at least 50%, for our planet and future. The campaign strives to build a plant-forward and internationally pioneering hospitality sector in the UK, from renowned chains to independent eateries.

Birmingham sky view

Get Involved

Any size establishment can sign up and access support on how to increase their plant-based menu offerings. And the demand is there, with 69% of all people polled believing it’s important to include a wide variety of plant-based options at restaurants!

Content will include advice and insights from leaders across the industry, including famous consulting chefs and world-renowned plant-based producers. Participating restaurants will also get a free Menu Impact Score from the UK’s leading carbon labelling company, My Emissions.

So, if you know a restaurant that you think should sign up, help them get a taste of the action by signposting them to 50by25!

We have a variety of actions to help you urge your favourite restaurants to join the planet-friendly revolution by balancing their menus through 50by25. Go to our individual action page to find out more.