Author Topic: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?  (Read 13922 times)

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LadyL

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Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« on: June 17, 2013, 11:08:45 AM »
LordL and I are finalizing the details with our potential wedding caterer. We picked them because their food is delicious and award winning. They also happen to be entirely vegan. We are not vegan or vegetarian, but part of their mission is to make food that is tasty and satisfying for non-vegans, and they definitely succeed in that regard.

Here is my question: I remember one of my relatives complaining about being at an Indian wedding where all the food was vegetarian, and how he didn't find it satisfying. I can think of a few relatives who love having something to complain about who might take issue with a vegan caterer due to misconceptions. Is there anything wrong with simply failing to mention in advance that the food will be vegan? So far we've chosen not to - when asked we've focused instead on the style of the food (they have a strong Asian fusion influence).

If we include a place to select entrées in advance on the save the dates, should we list the food as "basil pesto tofu with cashews" or just "basil pesto entrée with cashews?" Is either fine? We are going to specify which entrées are gluten free, spicy, etc. but I'm not aware of any dietary restrictions for tofu or seitan (maybe people who need to limit their soy for some reason?). We were thinking of including a separate line for people to list food restrictions to cover that angle.

I have definitely learned and accepted that you can't please everyone, but I also would rather avoid eye rolling comments about "rabbit food" leading up to the wedding. Thoughts?


Wulfie

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2013, 11:12:50 AM »
I would let people know that it is tofu.  I know of at least 2 people who get violently ill from tofu and my dad has to watch it because of his blood pressure. For some reason, his blood pressure skyrockets if he has tofu, which stinks because he LOVES tofu corn dogs!

Eden

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2013, 11:15:32 AM »
Hmmm, I don't think you have any requirement to advise people that they menu is vegan, however if I were selecting my choice, I'd find "basil pesto entrée with cashews" to be oddly vague. Is it chicken? Is it fish? So I vote for listing the protein source. I think you're between a rock and a hard place. Be vague and have confused guests, or be specific and potentially have to listen to unwanted comments.

I do like the idea of a separate line for people to list food restrictions.

amylouky

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2013, 11:16:28 AM »
I would let people know that it is tofu.  I know of at least 2 people who get violently ill from tofu and my dad has to watch it because of his blood pressure. For some reason, his blood pressure skyrockets if he has tofu, which stinks because he LOVES tofu corn dogs!

POD. I'm not supposed to have tofu/soy, because I had an estrogen-fed cancer and soy has estrogen.
I don't always stick to that but if I did I would need to know.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2013, 11:19:29 AM »
I would want to know.  I don't generally eat soy products and I avoid overly processed foods, which meat substitutes tend to be.  I have no problem with veg*an food and would eat it happily but not if it contains soy/meat substitutes.
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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2013, 11:21:47 AM »
Yes, there are people who need to know about tofu just like people need to know about gluten. In addition, saying "entrée" without specifying it doesn't let people who would choose tofu know that it's something they can eat. So, I'd advise being up front about it.

I know it stinks that you'll likely get people telling you "TOFU? Bleah!", but that's the breaks, and at least you won't have to worry about them throwing a fit at the venue because they just assumed that it would be a meat entrée.

It sounds like it will be a wonderful meal.
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NyaChan

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2013, 11:24:06 AM »
If you are offering a choice of entrees, then people need to know what they are choosing between.  Otherwise, as a guest it would not bother me to arrive and see that the food was vegan (honestly, I don't even notice most of the time unless someone says - See here! This is vegan food!)

camlan

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2013, 11:24:44 AM »
I know someone who is very allergic to soy and wheat and dairy. "Basil pesto entree" sounds like it might have wheat in it, possibly a pasta dish, so he'd steer clear of that, not knowing it has tofu, which he also can't eat.

If you are going to serve vegan food and you know some of your guests won't be happy, you have two choices. Accept that they will be unhappy OR change your menu.

If you do the menu response cards, it's best to be honest about what the food is. But they do open you up to weeks of complaints about the menu.

Could the caterers do a buffet? That way, you get the food you want, no one has to be notified ahead of time, and the majority of the complainers will have complained themselves out by the time you are back from your honeymoon.

There's nothing rude about serving a vegan meal. Nor do I think you have announce your food choices before the wedding. But you can't hide the ingredients from people.

And if you do depart from the "average" US diet, then I think, sadly, that you need to expect comments. Best to figure out how to deal with them ahead of time.
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Yvaine

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2013, 11:26:44 AM »
Yes, there are people who need to know about tofu just like people need to know about gluten. In addition, saying "entrée" without specifying it doesn't let people who would choose tofu know that it's something they can eat. So, I'd advise being up front about it.

This. I can eat tofu, but mystery "entree" would make me wonder if it was something I can't eat, like shrimp. I'd pass it up in error.

MindsEye

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2013, 11:27:29 AM »
Yes, vegan fare can be wonderfully delicious... but you have to watch out if you are allergic/intolerant to soy or are on a low-sodium diet.

I know several people who have soy allergies, and I have a slight soy intolerance (I really have to watch my soy intake), and a lot of vegan meat substitutes have very high sodium content.

I think that you will get a few people complaining no matter what you serve, so just go with full disclosure on the food and ignore the naysayers.

WillyNilly

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2013, 11:29:20 AM »
I would want to know.  I don't generally eat soy products and I avoid overly processed foods, which meat substitutes tend to be.  I have no problem with veg*an food and would eat it happily but not if it contains soy/meat substitutes.

This is where I'm at. I have no issue with vegan food but I do have a big problem with eating soy. So I wouldn't mind if there was vegan pasta with red sauce, or awesome salads with nuts, or vegan baked goods, but if the entree was tofu I'd really want to know in advance so I could eat a big meal before hand or know to fill up on apps during cocktail hour.

LadyL

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2013, 11:29:37 AM »

And if you do depart from the "average" US diet, then I think, sadly, that you need to expect comments. Best to figure out how to deal with them ahead of time.

Ha, I can't tell you how many people have recommended us caterers that serve red sauce Italian food. All the "nice" restaurants in the area where most of my family lives are red sauce Italian - we go there for every birthday, holiday, etc. I am so red sauced out it's not even funny! I'm sure that serving stuffed shells would make almost everyone happy - except us! Our top priorities for the wedding are venue, photographer, music, and food in that order.

We can almost definitely do a buffet with all the food labelled with ingredients, and maybe only include a line for food restrictions on the invite (not meal selection), which I think is the best compromise.

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2013, 11:32:08 AM »
I think you should be more specific rather than less specific. There are people who can't eat soy, and people who would prefer to choose a different option if they know tofu is involved. There WILL be people who roll their eyes about your menu choices -- I don't think you can avoid that. If someone's going to be a complete tool and complain about the meal, better they get it out of their systems in advance and/or decide not to come (or to eat a hamburger before the reception) than do it where you or your family can overhear them AT THE WEDDING.

For what it's worth, I'd be super excited about your menu.  ;D

rashea

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2013, 11:34:15 AM »
I love vegan food when it's well done, but shouldn't have soy. Food that is vegan, and especially with an Asian influence would leave me unable to eat (a lot of Asian food has soy).

I think you'd be better off letting people know in advance. And I'd be very careful to talk to the caterer's about how they will deal with it if people can't eat soy, or msg, or something. And how will they deal with it if people complain.

The other thing is that many people who eat meat regularly don't find vegetarian, never mind vegan, food to fill them up as well or as long. That's not just a perception by the way, it really doesn't. So you may have people leave early to go eat something. Or you might consider having a snack later in the evening if it's a long reception.
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Bashful

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Re: Disclosing vegan menu to guests?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2013, 11:37:11 AM »
Your difficult guests would be rude to say anything as "Tofu? Bleah!", "Food for rabbits" etc. Although, a tofu-based dinner would be hard for a tofu non-eater exactly as a fish-based dinner would be hard for a fish non-eater (ahem ahem, I don't like fish). As a fish non-eater, I'd like to know in advance if I should eat something before the wedding because probably I wouldn't like the most part of the food. Same thing for those who have allergies, who have more right than me to know if they should pre-eat.