I admit a Bill of Rights is a bit overkill on the metaphor, but I ask that you give me a little leeway here. More than a Bill of Rights, these ideas are just good business. It expands the market. Trust me. If this growing group of baby-boomer / Gen X patrons have to stay home just to get a decent meal, the restaurant industry is going to feel it.
- The server should know what a Vegan is.
- The server should know what they are serving.
- The server should have one dish at the ready to offer once they discover there is a Vegan at the table.
Professional servers, who earn their livelihood from delivering food, should know that vegans do not eat meat of any kind. They should also note the important distinction that vegans do not eat other products made from animals including milk, cheese and eggs. In other words, they should know the difference between a vegetarian and vegan.
Servers should know preparation details (i.e. sauteed in butter) and ingredients of what they’re serving. They should know which dishes have meat, cheese, cream, milk and that pesky little weasel, chicken broth. I give my highest praise to servers who stopped me from ordering a particular dish because of a warning that the dish contained a hidden, unnoticeable ingredient that keeps the dish from being animal free.
The last right is actually more of a prayer, since it happens so rarely. in a perfect vegan world, the server should be able to direct you to the one or more items on the menu clearly marked vegan. Less perfection would include having a tasty dish, that only has to be modified slightly, to become a vegan winner. I have noticed that some restaurants have selections off the menu, and already thought out to meet my needs. I can’t really understand why they wouldn’t put these on the menu.
I think this is a modest and achievable list. It’s not like I’m striving for equality in marriage or tax simplification. I also think it would just be good business.