The designer hotel collection will become the world’s first to commit to an ongoing vegetarian-led offering
Independent and dynamic designer hotel collection, Ovolo Hotels announces its latest move in an ongoing pledge to ethical eating, conscious cuisine and cutting-edge veg, becoming the first hotel brand globally to commit to a vegetarian-led offering, Plant’d across its hotel restaurants, globally from Monday 14 February.
The announcement signifies a further progressive shift for the designer hotel collection ongoing, following the success of its ‘Year of the Veg’ campaign which launched in October 2020, where venues transitioned to a vegetarian only offering for an initial 365 days, serving up vibrant vegetarian and plant-based cuisine.
“Meat is being removed for a second year in a row at Ovolo Hotels. With a number of our Ovolo venues already serving plant-based cuisine, we have decided to go the full 100%. It’s been a strategic move, but Ovolo prides itself on being an industry leader. We believe that the world changes, therefore we continue to evolve – we want to ensure we are doing our bit to help preserve our environment, promote healthy eating and enhance the image of amazing vegetarian and plant-based dining,” said Ovolo Group’s Founder and CEO, Girish Jhunjhnuwala.
Jhunjhnuwala continued, “There has also been a lot of learnings along the way, and we want to share those insights with others in the industry and outside the industry considering making the switch to a vegetarian-led offerings or integrating it into their existing offering. That’s why we have created our ‘Plant’d Playbook’, which will be publicly available for all to access”.
Ovolo’s Group Creative Culinary Partner, Ian Curley has worked with the hotel’s restaurants to take the Plant’d veg pledge, including ZA ZA TA at Ovolo The Valley in Brisbane; Monster Kitchen & Bar at Ovolo Nishi in Canberra; Lona Misa at Ovolo South Yarra in Melbourne and Veda at Ovolo Central in Hong Kong; as well as Australia and New Zealand’s first vegan hotel restaurant, Alibi Bar & Kitchen at Ovolo Woolloomooloo (recently awarded Best Hotel Bar at the 2022 Australian Hotels Association Awards). All venues will launch with new menus from launch day.
Inspired by an increasing consumer interest in the many benefits of a plant-based diet, this change reflects Ovolo’s commitment to delivering on its customers’ desires, while promoting a ‘eating good to feel good’ mentality. Guests will continue to enjoy the quality food and beverage offering they have come to expect from Ovolo restaurants, while nourishing their bodies and feeding their souls through menus which reflect a renewed commitment to sustainability and wellbeing.
Of transitioning to a vegetarian-led offering, Ian Curley says, “Our move to vegetarian dining has been even more successful than we anticipated, and we now find ourselves part of a new wave of plant-based pioneers. The one big lesson we have learned from our bold experiment: never underestimate your guests. A key focus for us has been ensuring we are creating something that still appeals to everyone – from vegans to flexitarians, and those who are simply keen on expanding their palette. We are lucky enough to be working with some incredible suppliers across the rollout who share our passion for offering nutritious, delicious and sustainable food solutions. Companies such as V2 are really expanding people’s minds in terms of what is possible with plant-based cuisine and make it an easy entry point for those curious about trying some vegan spins on classic dishes”.
Further demonstrating the hotel’s trailblazing efforts, the new vegetarian offering will extend to in-room dining menus, which have been carefully curated by Ian Curley to ensure an approachable veg-led offering across the group.
Ovolo’s newly appointed Creative Beverage Director, Andrea Gualdi (ex-Maybe Sammy), will lead the drinks offering. The menu will feature seasonal cocktails and wines sourced from some of Australia’s most progressive producers, alongside a strong non-alcoholic offering as part of its new health-conscious direction.
Of spearheading the new drinks offering, Andrea Gualdi says, “Coming up with healthier, vegetarian-led beverage options has been a creative challenge that our team has really enjoyed. We have access to some incredibly progressive Australian producers, both in the alcoholic and non-alcoholic categories, and we’re proud to represent more of those producers across our new menus, with a strong focus on seasonality and local producers”.
The Ovolo team have created a ‘Plant’d Playbook’ which includes information on the reasons Ovolo has made the switch with their food and beverage offering; what to know before you go veg; tips on defining food and beverage menus; and learnings along the way. The white paper will be publicly available via Ovolo’s Plant’d webpage on ovolohotels.com in support of those companies looking to move to a vegetarian-led philosophy and encouraging industry collaboration.
Committed to continuously finding ways to further reduce their environmental footprint, this launch comes off the back of several eco-friendly initiatives already implemented by the hotel collection in the past year. These include switching to free-range eggs, opting for a more a natural-led wine list, providing refillable water containers, using more planet-friendly paper on the menus and takeaway containers working with suppliers and Ovolo being an early adopter of removing plastic straws to eliminate plastic.
This also includes the bold move away from single use bathroom amenity plastics, all OMG Amenities being designed in a sustainable manner, and making use of re-fillable, tamper-free pump bottles which are HDPE recyclable. In addition to this, introducing reusable woven bags for slippers, and the use of biodegradable materials in laundry bags and packaging.