Citing the "prohibitively high" costs of operating as a vegan establishment, one restaurant in the United Kingdom added meat to its menu
in a bid to attract more customers.
Vegan eatery The Mango Tree in Taunton, located in the southwestern English county of Somerset, announced that it will offer
a "meat-inclusive menu." It made the announcement through a notice posted on its doors. In line with this, the restaurant temporarily shuttered its doors on Sept. 3 to undergo renovations.
The restaurant reassured patrons that after "an exciting period of change," they will be able to enjoy "a variety of dishes to accommodate a wide variety of dietary needs and preferences" alongside "delicious plant-based dishes that would otherwise have disappeared."
"Hospitality is increasingly tough, and continuing as a purely vegan restaurant has not been sustainable for a considerable amount of time – as not enough customers supported us," said The Mango Tree's ownership.
"The changes will allow us to secure the jobs of our wonderful team … as we re-imagine ourselves to offer the Taunton community new and exciting options to dine in and take away – all in the same location and with the same team you know and love."
The establishment also diffused ethical criticisms by pointing out that its ethics "extend to the jobs and welfare of our wonderful team, to whom we owe a great deal, and another chance."
"Despite lots of marketing; many special offers; offering dine-in and takeaway; introducing the use of home delivery partners; and working incredibly hard to be as efficient as possible, not enough of the local population used us regularly enough to make continuing in the current format sustainable," it said. "We must move on with positivity and are determined to do so."
The Mango Tree did not give an exact date on when it will reopen, but insinuated that it plans to reopen later in the fall.
Vegan customers incensed with struggling eatery's decision to include meat in menu
Vegan patrons of The Mango Tree rebuked the restaurant for its decision to include meat.
"Worse than shutting, selling meat," wrote one Twitter user. Another questioned The Mango Tree's owners, musing that they could not possibly be true vegans – as true vegans would choose to go bankrupt instead of "exploiting animals."
A third user, meanwhile, zeroed in on The Mango Tree's "high prices." While the restaurant's "authenticity and plant-based values" justified the high cost of menu items, it was no longer the case with its inclusion of meat dishes.
A fourth user wrote: "I think they'll find meat is more expensive now." (Related: INFLATION NATION: Record-high meat prices in the U.S. unlikely to recede, experts warn.
Some users were much milder in their denouncement of the Taunton restaurant's decision to include meat in its menu.
"This is a massive shame. It's been amazing to have a 100 percent vegan restaurant in Taunton," one patron said. "Veganism isn't a business venture – it's an ethical philosophy that does the best for the animals, the planet and public health."
Another patron said: "I understand entirely why you are doing this, but from a vegan standpoint, I would see this as unethical practice."
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