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Question
Dear Victor

Do you recommend to have separate three different rooms for customers seating classified as vegetarian, non vegetarian and both food service in a restaurant?.

Thanks
Prashant

Answer
Greetings Prashant,

Quite an interesting question... As a vegan myself, I certainly appreciate your thought process in wanting to make vegans and vegetarians more comfortable in your establishment. My opinion offers two viewpoints.

Depending on the physical location of your project, if your city is primarily vegetarian or vegan, it may be more appropriate to seat omnivores in their own area to prevent other customers from becoming uncomfortable, although I would not have a "advertised designated seating area" for omnivores (it should be an unspoken rule for staff) so you can also utilize that seating area for vegetarians/vegans, should business that evening dictate the need for its use. This will also help to prevent alienating anyone who may want to visit your establishment. The last thing you want to do is gain a reputation for making people uncomfortable. Additionally, as I cannot speak for all vegetarians/vegans, my experience has been that most of us believe that everyone is entitled to their own belief system and do not condemn others for them. I find the decisions to be a vegetarian/vegan is typically based either on religious beliefs or as in my case, education as to treatment of animals and animal products grown for human consumption. As such, I would not personally be uncomfortable sitting in close proximity to someone eating meat. Although knowing me, should my meal be particularly delicious, I may overly verbalize my appreciation for it to a degree that the meat eaters may be envious of my dining selection, perhaps prompting them to make a vegan selection on their next visit, but that is only my personal opinion.

That being said, in regards to your kitchen layout, I think it would be a very good idea to make sure that all meat preparations are prepared in a single area to prevent any potential cross contamination of work areas. Advertising that your restaurant has specific food preparation areas that accommodate vegetarians and vegans will help them feel more comfortable knowing that their meal will never come in contact with any animal or meat products.

I think the biggest challenge in an establishment like this is to make sure everyone, regardless of their belief system, feels welcome in your establishment. By keeping omnivores from feeling like outcasts and ensuring vegetarians/vegan beliefs are respected with separate food preparation areas, I believe both types of diners can have an equally enjoyable dining experience.

Please feel free to visit our website should you find yourself in need of a commercial kitchen design firm who can help you with such creating such a culinary environment.

Cheers and best of luck with your new venture!

Victor  

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Victor Cardamone

Expertise

I am thoroughly proficient in all aspects of restaurant and commercial kitchen design, development and operational issues. I am also well versed in all aspects of health department permit submissions.

Experience

I am a classically trained executive chef with over 15 years of restaurant/hotel kitchen operating experience. I am also president of Mise Design Group, LLC a commercial kitchen/restaurant development firm. My firm focuses on and specializes in commercial kitchen design & development, supply and project management as well as operations consulting.

Organizations
The American Institute of Architects The American Culinary Federation The National Restaurant Association

Publications
Club Solutions Magazine http://www.clubsolutionsmagazine.com/?p=2076

Education/Credentials
Alumni of The Culinary Institute of America

Past/Present Clients
Hilton Hotels Worldwide ~ Kampala, Uganda Presbyterian Senior Living (4 properties) ~ PA Siberian Ice Restaurant & Catering ~ Queens, NY Bourbon Coffee, North America (2 properties) ~ NY, MA St Bernards Health & Wellness Center Cafe ~ Jonesboro, AK Sassafras Lounge & Restaurant ~ Bowie, MD Netty Jane’s Bakery & Cafe ~ North Wales, PA MoC MoC Japanese Restaurant ~ Princeton, NJ Newtown Athletic Club Café ~ Newtown, PA LaScala’s Italian Restaurant ~ Moorestown, NJ Birmingham Friends Meeting House ~ West Chester, PA Savory Bakery & Cafe ~ Lansdowne, PA Juice-n-Beans Cafe ~ Hamilton, Bermuda Holy Ghost Orthodox Church Community Center ~ Phoenixville, PA Pirate Pete’s Family Entertainment ~ Marion, IL Calvert Hotel ~ Lewistown, MT Evolution Bistro ~ Chicago, IL Big Vanilla Café ~ Pasadena, MD Fuel Café & Restaurant ~ West Des Moines, IA Fitness Fusions Café ~ Westborough, MA Olde Town Athletic Club Café ~ Warrenton, VA The Health & Fitness Center at Washtenaw C.C. Café ~ Ann Arbor, MI Breakthru Fitness Center Café ~ Pasadena, CA Metropolis Café & Spa~ Miami, FL Energy Source Café ~ Red Bank, NJ Fresh Fitness Café ~ Ooltewah, TN Breathe Fitness Juice Bar~ Poway, CA Results Fitness Juice Bar ~ Newhall, CA Life Fitness Management Cafe & Juice Bar ~ Cumberland, MD Vida Sports Nutrition Juice Bar ~ Miami, FL WAVE Cafe ~ Vaughan, ON Canada Performax Health & Fitness Juice Bar~ Waldwick, NJ

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