Saturday, April 21, 2012

Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Was a little surprised not to be able to find any reviews or endorsements of the vegan credentials of Gourmet Burger Kitchen online, so I decided to do a bit of investigation myself.

By just turning up.

It’s not often I employ this method. I became sick of eating plain jacket potatoes years ago.

The staff were very friendly and welcoming and one of the waitresses told me she had a friend who used to work there who was a vegan. One of the burgers on the menu was vegan.

Being the suspicious type, I asked for further investigation and the waitress went off and checked for me in the dietary information guide. She came back and confirmed that the Falafel burger (without raita) is suitable for vegans.

When enquiring about the chips, another member of staff pointed out that whilst the chips may be vegan and the oil may be vegan….. they were fried in the same fryer as some breaded cheese. I was very impressed by this as these are the little details most non-vegans would not even consider.

I ordered the Falafel burger and I have to say, it was delicious. It came with three crispy, flavourful falafel in a lightly toasted, sesame seeded bun with lettuce, tomato, sweet chilli sauce and tahini. Quite an inventive option for a chain restaurant I thought.

When returning home I visited the GBK website to discover a strange notice:

Our vegetarian burgers are cooked on a separate grill to the meat and chicken. However, we do not operate a dedicated vegetarian kitchen environment. (We are awaiting feedback from our Food Safety consultants on a small number of products which could be contentious on the whole vegetarian/vegan debate.) 

Hmmmm. Suspicious I thought. So I emailed Head Office. Took a long time to get a reply, but we got there in the end. The lady confirmed for me that the Falafel burger without the raita is indeed suitable for vegans. She didn’t elaborate on what the contentious issues were but sometimes, you just have to go with the information you can get, otherwise you’d drive yourself crazy. Or starve.
And if you don’t believe me, they’ve now started to make this information available on their website in the FAQ section, where they also confirm that the vegetarian burgers are cooked on a separate grill to the meat.

If you don’t mind supporting vegan options in chain restaurants, this really is one of the better options.


  1. thank you for this interesting thread :) I'm vegan and I love the falafel burger (without raita) but i saw online that the falafel was fried and I worried that it may be fried with meat options, but you have just put my mind at rest :)

  2. I noticed last time I visited that the falafel recipe has changed - they're now very green inside! I have written to customer services again to check they're still vegan. Will let you know when I hear back.......

  3. Despite taking a ridiculously long time to reply, and then not answering all my questions..... they assure me the falafel burger is still vegan (minus the raita)