ProVeg South Africa, an international food awareness organisation aimed at reducing the consumption of meat, ranked South African restaurants on their vegan friendliness, and Kauai, Spur, and Panarottis made it to the top three.
The organisation selected 23 local fast-food franchises and scored them out of 15 based on the number of plant-based items they have on their respective menus.
Majority of the points awarded came from the menu offering – main courses, side dishes, and dessert – with more importance awarded to the vegan main courses.
Additional smaller points were awarded to vegan/plant-based labelling – clearly labelling with the word “vegan” or “plant-based”, or the letter V – and the restaurant’s efforts to advertise their available plant-based offerings.
The top six restaurants ranked as the most plant-based friendly include Kauai, Spur, Panarottis, Burger King, Simply Asia, and, Steers, with McDonald’s coming in at number seven.
Kauai, known for its healthy and sustainable offering, made it to the number one spot, scoring 10.5 out of 15. This, according to the report, is because the restaurant has a “wide selection of plant-based options in their main courses, side dishes, and items classified as desserts (consisting mostly of smoothies).
“This is further supported by the fact that Kauai is making a definite effort to cater to a growing plant-based market with their Veganuary specials, implementation of plant-based smart meals, and the general movement towards sustainability.”
In recent years, Spur has made efforts to include plant-based items on their menu, offering customers more choice as opposed to meat only. In second place, the fast-food giant scored 8.5 out of 15 thanks to its wide variety of plant-based items made of ingredients such as soy, beans, and Beyond Burger patties.
Other meatless items on their menu include nachos, chicken-style schnitzels, quesadillas, side vegetables and salads. The restaurant also ensures that their vegan items are not prepared using the same equipment as their meat items.
Spur’s rating, however, came as a surprise given that the food outlet is dominated by meat products, and as one Twitter user said, it would be rather strange to eat vegan food in a restaurant that smelt mostly of meat.
i am not going to sit in a spur to eat plant based with all the animal meat around me lol
Panarottis, owned by the Spur Corporation, took the third place, scoring eight out of 15. Through their various Italian inspired dishes, the fast-food joint has put in efforts to cater to the vegan market as well.
“The pizzas, pastas and subs have plant-based swop-outs, including vegan cheese, mince, steak, chicken, and mayonnaise options,” the report said.
The restaurant also has vegan waffles made with almond milk allowing customers to enjoy a vegan dessert.
“While they are still a predominantly a meat toppings pizza restaurant, they appear to have made their menu inclusive of a variety of preferences, which include vegan, vegetarian, and for those with allergies,” the report added.
Burger King, on the other hand, was ranked fourth as it became the first fast food chain in Africa to offer vegan meat. Its plant-based menu items include the Vegan Royal, Vegan Nuggets, and the Plant-Based WHOPPER.
Both the Royal and vegan nuggets are certified by the internationally recognised vegan label, V-label.
“Burger King South Africa is the first restaurant with certified vegan products on their menu and is leading the space in ensuring ethical vegan quality checks throughout all levels of the product cycle (from sourcing to service),” said the report.
Other popular restaurants such McDonald’s were ranked at number seven, Nando’s at number 11, Chicken Licken at number 16, and KFC at number 21 as it offers no plant-based items.