UK chain turns completely vegan
London fast food business Arancini Brothers is set to transform its entire business vegan by the end of the month.
Following on from the runaway success of their Old Street location turning vegan, David Arkin has made the monumental decision to veganise his entire business.
In what is a world first, all three locations of Arancini Brothers plus their food truck will all be completely vegan eateries by the end of February 2018.
I caught up with David to get the scoop on this incredible transformation.
Here is what he told me:
Your entire business and all your locations are about to become vegan. Why have you made this decision?
It’s been our goal to go vegan for the past three years. The interest in veganism we saw in 2017 showed us we could do it and Veganuary was the perfect time. Old St was a test but we had full confidence in our flavours and recipes, knowing that our customers would still come back. The support we have received over the past six weeks has been amazing and February hasn’t slowed down.
Does it feel like a risky move?
Any big change in a company that has been running for as long as we have feels risky. We employ a lot of staff. We have rents and taxes to pay. But I have never felt so good and confident in our decision. Veganism is here to stay and we hope people love our food enough for us to be around for a long time.
Some of your regular customers are used to buying meat products from you. What is the reaction you are seeing from them?
We have lost some customers but the reaction has been good and to be honest our food is better than it’s ever been before. Our meat replacements are amazing and really tasty and are going down well with our meat eating customers. They are also telling us they are happy they can have a meal that keeps them going all day and helps them eat less meat.
Are you seeing new customers who have never been Arancini Brothers regulars since you started raising your vegan profile?
We are seeing a lot of new faces at all three locations, most of who are meat eaters looking for a tasty meal. The vegan community has been amazing and the support and feedback we are getting just builds our confidence in our decision to be a 100% vegan company.
Your location on Old Street has been vegan for just over a month. Has the success of that changeover made your decision easier? How successful has it been?
January is traditionally one of the quieter months of the year. As a company we have had a record month and Old St is up about 30% on last year. It has beaten all our expectations.
Kentish Town and Dalston aren’t going vegan at the same time. Can you give us a timeline outlining your vegan switch?
Kentish Town will have its soft launch this weekend (February 17, 2018) with a new 100% vegan brunch and dinner menu only available at that location and Dalston will be 100% vegan by the end of the following week.
This is phenomenally inspiring news.
Congratulations to Dave and the entire Arancini Brothers team for making this commitment to veganism.
I was asked in an interview a few weeks ago if I thought veganism was a fad and I answered no. It isn’t a fad, it is a social shift and Arancini Brothers is on the front line of this shift.
London, you are about to have your very own vegan fast food chain. Get hyped!