A study of 2,000 carnivores found 18% would have no idea what to serve a non-meat eater, and one in four would feel unprepared while others worry they’d offend their guest
Nearly half of meat eaters worry about a vegetarian turning up at their BBQ – with one in five feeling ‘stressed or confused’ about what to serve.
A study of 2,000 carnivores found 18% would have no idea what to serve a non-meat eater and one in four would feel unprepared.
Of the 45 per cent who worry about a veggie or vegan guest, top reasons included not wanting to buy the wrong thing and offend them and feeling under pressure to provide decent alternatives.
Others don’t want to have to clean the barbecue in-between cooking and admit they’re unsure how to cook plant-based food.
It also emerged more than a third immediately think of meat when it comes to barbecues.
Although 36% think the amount of plant-based options in supermarkets now makes it easier to provide alternatives.
Laura Mack, spokesperson at Garden Gourmet, which carried out the study, said: “The research shows that when it comes to hosting summer barbecues, hosts can feel unsure about what to serve guests with vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian dietary requirements.
“But there are many options for meat-free barbecues today that mean you don’t need to compromise on taste, including succulent and delicious vegan burgers, juicy fillet pieces, and sizzling sausages.
“If you’re not familiar with cooking meat-free items, it can seem daunting, but there are easy ways to switch out meat-based products for vegan alternatives that all guests will enjoy.”
The study also found 42% have invited a vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian guest to a barbecue in the past – with a quarter of those admitting they asked the guest to bring their own food.
A third provided meat alternatives which the guests didn’t like and 22% simply forgot to buy meat-free options.
But a successful 50% bought vegetarian or vegan substitutes which their guests enjoyed.
A third of meat eaters would research the best alternatives if buying food for a veggie or vegan guest, while 26 per cent would buy loads of options hoping that one or two would be liked.
But almost half admitted they have served meat to veggie or vegan guest when hosting a barbecue in the past – resulting in guests leaving (27%) or throwing the food away (22%).
It also emerged nearly half of those polled via OnePoll aren’t confident they know what foods vegetarians can and can’t eat, while 72 per cent are confused by which condiments are allowed.
Asides from providing for dietary requirements, other worries those polled have when hosting a barbecue included not buying enough food, a lack of room inside if it rains and running out of plates or glasses.
Alex Head, founder of catering company Social Pantry, said: “I always suggest shifting the emphasis from a centrepiece to side dishes – not only are they delicious and often people’s favourite part of a meal.
“Sharing food is a fundamental way in which we connect with other people, but separate dietary requirements can create divides within a group.
“Remember that veg centric food is for everyone – not just vegetarian and vegans.
“Rather than catering a small amount separately for your plant-based guests, make enough for everyone so that you’re all eating the same, with meat/fish as an optional add on.
“Indeed, when it comes to catering to vegans, vegetarians and flexitarian guests, there are simple vegan solutions perfect for grilling available to hosts which don’t require buying additional products or resulting in upset guests.”