The menu features 16 dishes and includes meat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan options for starter, main and dessert meals.
Star Pubs & Bars head of food Mark Teed said: “Putting together a ‘free-from’ menu is daunting for many licensees.
“We wanted to take the hard work out of it and offer them an easy-to-implement menu with a broad appeal as well as the reassurance of knowing the ingredients are correct and the dishes properly labelled.”
Dishes were chosen to be in line with the latest food trends and to offer a variety of flavours. The menu includes Mexican, Thai and Italian-inspired options with dishes ranging from Loaded Chilli Nachos and Thai Red Vegetable Curry to a gluten-free Butternut Squash, Brie, Beetroot and Truffle-infused Oil Tart, and sticky toffee pudding.
Teed added: “We have chosen dishes that appeal to all and complement a pub’s core menu. While we have got a sorbet, which is always popular on ‘free-from’ menus, we have also got a delicious chocolate and coconut torte, which is suitable for vegans as well as being dairy and gluten-free.”
In a bid to minimise waste and make introducing ‘free-from’ dishes easy, Star has chosen pre-prepared dishes from food wholesaler Brakes with additional sides such as salads and dressings, added to make full meas.
The menu will be offered to operators as part of the pubco’s optional food support alongside accompanying tips on preparing ‘free-from’ meals.
“Even if licensees do not order the dishes through Brakes, the menu is a good example of what a balanced ‘free-from’ range looks like,” Teed said.
“Free-from food is here to stay. More than 3.5m people in the UK now identify as vegan, while over 7m have switched to a vegetarian diet (according to a survey commissioned by comparethemarket.com).
“It is the customers with dietary requirements who determine where a group eats out. Larger, managed hospitality chains have adapted their menus.”
Teed added that independent operators need to do the same as this or miss out. He explained that the new menu is just the starting point for Star and there will be seasonal specials such as ‘free-from’ Christmas dinners added over time.