Catering for the new year health-kick

For many, January marks one thing: a fresh start. The bottle-filled recycle bins are emptied, the mince pies have all been eaten and the health-kick is in full swing.

As part of a new and healthier lifestyle, increasing numbers of people are choosing to start the year by cutting down their meat and dairy intake, with some choosing to adopt vegan and vegetarian diets permanently. 

Here Ed Cross, general manager at Valor Hospitality Europe’s DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Piccadilly hotel, talks about how Valor ensures they cater to those looking for healthier choices all year long…


After an indulgent December, many of us choose to cut back in January. For those in hospitality, this often means we can expect to see fewer customers walk through the doors of our bars and restaurants compared to the previous month. 

This can be for many reasons, but for those trying a new-meat free diet, lack of choice shouldn’t be one of them.   

It is estimated that 540,000 adults in the UK are vegan and a further three million are vegetarian, so it’s really important that we make sure all dietary requirements and lifestyle choices are catered for. In fact, in January 2019, it was anticipated that around 250,000 people gave up meat and dairy, with many choosing to adopt this diet long-term.

With increasing demand for more menu choice over the last few years, we have really upped our game across all our food and beverage ranges, and this has included the roll out of more vegetarian and vegan friendly dishes across all of our 17 UK hotels. 

We pride our restaurants as being as good as, if not better, than ones you would find on the high street. We want our guests to dine with us not just for convenience, but because they know they’re going to have a fantastic experience and exceptional food. 

In our global F&B team, we have real industry experts, including people who have worked in Michelin starred restaurants, so they know what they’re talking about when it comes to menu innovations and dishes that will entice diners through January and beyond. 

Historically, vegetarian dishes have been an after-though for many restaurants’ menus, with meat dishes the star of the show, but that’s not the route we wanted to take. We don’t believe in bland alternatives, so we worked with our talented team of in-house chefs to create a truly delicious offering. 

Some of the highlights on our new menus that launched this month include Teriyaki mushroom scallops, coconut dhal with crunchy spiced chickpeas and a chocolate and orange tart with orange sorbet, to name just a few. Whether you are plant based or not, dishes like this will brighten any dark January day. 

These excellent dishes will be available throughout January and February in all our hotel restaurants. Alongside this, our guests and leisure club members have access to our hotels’ excellent gym facilities and of course, all of our hotels offer a range of exciting soft drinks and mocktails for those who are opting for an alternative to alcohol.

The healthy intentions might not make it all the way through to December 2020, but we are proud to be able to offer choices that make it a little bit easier, and just as delicious, all year round. 

By Ed Cross, manager at Valor Hospitality, a management company with a current portfolio of over 40 hotels globally

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