The UK’s first fully vegan takeaway has launched in Manchester – and they serve burgers and hot dogs.
Billed as a ‘guilt-free’ way of enjoying fast food Zad’s, in Chorlton, has taken up residency in a former kebab shop on Barlow Moor Road.
And despite a traditional looking menu – including tasty pizzas, hot dogs, and burgers – all the food is 100% vegan.
The burgers are made from soy while hot dogs use seitan, also known as wheat gluten, which is high in protein yet has almost no saturated fat.
Manager Richard Gordon says Zad’s is aimed at the ‘ethical generation’ who want a traditional takeaway for the 21st century.
The 25-year-old vegan said: “There has been a large hole in the fast-food market for some time, as more and more people move over to a more conscious lifestyle, be it for health, environmental or ethical reasons, demand was increasing but supply just couldn’t keep up.
“With the endless number of ‘traditional’ grease-laden takeaways lining our streets, it seemed obvious that something new was needed, where people could get great tasting food, at a reasonable price that wouldn’t leave them wallowing in regret for hours afterwards and feeling sluggish and lethargic, as typical takeaway food is well-known for.”
Zad’s source their ingredients from a UK vegan wholesaler and despite the higher cost involved have kept the menu modestly priced.
The top dish so far is the Pig Save Pizza which has fresh tomato sauce, cheese, smoky maple strips, hot dog, pepperoni and smoked seitan as toppings.
It is also popular as 50p from each sale is donated to local vegan organizations and charities.And it’s not just vegans who are tucking in.
“Whilst it’s easy to think that our target market and customer base is geared towards vegans, what we actually hope to do is show those who do not follow a vegan diet how amazing the food can be.
“We’ve all seen the memes and heard the jokes about what vegans eat and Zad’s is there to show that living a cruelty-free lifestyle doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite foods.”
This filters through the menu which purposefully includes traditional sounding takeaway food.
“A burger is a burger and it can refer to anything in that shape,” he says.
“We didn’t want people to feel excluded from coming in so we made the menu as normal-sounding as possible.
“In the run up to our opening, we spent many hours in the kitchen, trying out different recipes and food combinations to get everything just right, but we also invited some non-vegans down to try out the food too, to give us a balanced opinion.
“They soon got this idea that vegans eat grass sandwiches out of their heads and we got some amazing feedback.”
The Zad’s team took over the former kebab shop in June and have worked flat out to get it up and running within six weeks.
Admitting they first thought of opening in the city center they decided on a Chorlton base to make it accessible from the suburbs.
“Chorlton was the obvious choice, being close enough to the city center, but also home to a hugely diverse and open-minded community, known for being quite liberal and progressive.”
The privately funded venture now employs five staff, who are all vegan and are on the lookout for further hires.
There are also plans to expand as they eye up their next store, which is likely to be in Manchester and then further afield.
It is currently open Tuesday through Sunday, 4 pm to 11 pm, with plans to open seven days a week soon, including all day at the weekend.