Squirrels looking safer after Favouritetable Big Question

by John Jones | Dec 14, 2023

Favouritetable’s ‘Big Question’ – our ongoing initiative aimed at getting to the heart of issues that inform restaurant owners – recently asked over 350 of our clients and other UK restaurateurs if they would ever consider putting ‘invasive species’ on their menus.

The query came after news that Silo in east London has a menu designed to help tackle ‘invasive species’ in the UK – otherwise known as non-native organisms – by turning them into what they claim are tasty meals.

The organisms in question are said to be causing huge damage to the British countryside but, according to Doug McMaster, Creator of Silo, Japanese knotweed is "identical in flavour to rhubarb, while squirrel is delicious and 1,000 times more sustainable than what you can purchase in supermarkets."

So, we asked restaurateurs: ‘Would you put invasive species on the menu?’

The results indicate a mostly favourable outcome for squirrels and other invasive species when it comes to keeping free of diners’ palates, with respondents voting as follows:

· 60% voted ‘No – we wouldn’t put invasive species on the menu’

· 40% voted ‘Yes – we would put invasive species on the menu’

Jaipal Yadav, MD of Favouritetable, said:

“It’s fascinating to see the outcome of this latest Favouritetable Big Question was actually quite close, given the topic.

“While putting some invasive species on their online menu could be viewed as an environmentally-sound solution to providing future food, it seems UK restaurants overall don’t feel the time is quite right to test diners’ willingness to branch out into this new and largely uncharted territory.”

Favouritetable provides an online menu pre-ordering module within its reservation and management software.