At Zest Garden Cafe you will never see an upcharge on our gluten free or vegan options.
When we first opened, we did what all restaurants do, and had a small upcharge on our gluten free and vegan batter because we knew it cost more. After a couple months, once we finally got our costing done, we knew it cost close to $0.20 more per crepe compared to the classic batter. We immediately eliminated the upcharge.
It’s been two years since then, and since our reopening, and implementation of making our own oat milk, the cost difference between our two batters is now only $0.01 per ounce, with the GF/vegan batter being the cheaper option by a penny. We now offer pizzas and our cost difference is $0.55 per crust for the gluten free option we make from scratch. When we were purchasing frozen, premade GF crusts at Marci’s Bar & Bistro our cost difference was $2.18!
Join our mailing list for a detailed update on how and why we combined Marci’s Bar & Bistro and Zest Creperie last year to create Zest Garden Cafe and hear our vision for the future!
We want to be transparent about our costs, because we know there are options for restaurants to offer an equitable menu without upcharges on allergen free items. We made the choice to find a way. We also know the majority of restaurants continue to do this because they are buying premade products at inflated prices and passing those costs onto you, because they know you can’t or won’t eat anything else.
The reality is restaurant menu pricing is already done in a way to even out costs. Look at any pizza restaurant, or appetizer menu. Pepperoni, salami, sausage and Canadian bacon all vary in cost, yet are almost universally sold at the same topping price from a pizzaria. Fried food appetizers may vary from costs of $0.50-$2.00 per portion and all be priced at $9.95 to the customer. This is normal. Why are allergen free items being treated differently?
To other restaurants – we ask, do you want to be inclusive?
Do you understand how difficult our industry has made it for so many people to enjoy a meal with friends and family?
Do you know how many people don’t go to restaurants because of it?
Times are changing, and restaurants have an opportunity to be far more inclusive and equitable to a large segment of the population. If you want to know where to start, please reach out to us as we are eager to share what we’ve learned.
You may just find your percentage of Gluten Free and Vegan customers grow from 5% to 30% if they felt comfortable and welcome to dine in your restaurant… and if you sold 25% more burgers without the upcharge, wouldn’t you cover the cost of those buns & vegan cheese?