In a perplexing and disheartening encounter, a vegan TikToker from Essex, England, Amie-Beth Steadman, recently shared her astonishment when a popular restaurant, Sheesh, reportedly declined to serve her due to her dietary preferences. The restaurant’s alleged response, “We don’t cater for vegans,” left Amie-Beth and her TikTok followers shocked and questioning the inclusivity of the establishment.
Amie-Beth’s journey unfolded as she sought to explore plant-based options at the renowned Chigwell-based barbecue restaurant. She recounted her previous attempt to create a vegan-friendly meal from the available sides, only to be turned away. Undeterred, she took a proactive step by contacting the restaurant in advance to inquire about potential vegan offerings. However, the conversation took an unexpected turn.
Sharing her experience in a three-minute TikTok video, Amie-Beth expressed her disbelief at the restaurant employee’s response. She recalled, “The lady on the phone outright stated, ‘We don’t cater for vegans.’ My friend inquired further, suggesting the possibility of ordering a few sides to create a main dish, to which the employee’s response was astounding.” The employee reportedly responded with, “I don’t even know why a vegan would even want to come to our restaurant anyway.”
Amie-Beth’s frustration was palpable as she addressed the encounter, highlighting that being a vegan is a valid dietary choice that deserves respect and consideration. She emphasized, “We were just asking a question. If that’s your policy, fine, but to say ‘why would a vegan even want to come here?’ I find it hard to believe that a well-established restaurant could be so discourteous.”
The incident ignited a groundswell of support from Amie-Beth’s TikTok followers, who expressed their disappointment with Sheesh’s apparent lack of inclusivity. Many critics found the restaurant’s stance outdated, especially in a culinary landscape where dietary preferences are diverse and accommodating.
A member of the online community aptly noted, “If a restaurant doesn’t offer vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free options in 2023 it’s dead! No excuse,” while another individual questioned the rationale behind the refusal, stating, “This is so bizarre, what is the issue with ordering multiple sides instead of a main? I don’t get it.”
However, counterarguments surfaced, with some pointing out that Sheesh specializes in meat-based offerings. Yet, Amie-Beth swiftly corrected this misconception, clarifying that Sheesh is, in fact, a “Turkish restaurant” and highlighting that many establishments of this nature provide vegan choices, such as the popular option of falafel. She also underscored that even steakhouses have demonstrated flexibility in accommodating vegan patrons.
Amie-Beth’s encounter with Sheesh has illuminated broader discussions surrounding inclusivity, respect for dietary preferences, and the evolving landscape of dining choices. As the culinary world continues to diversify and adapt to changing consumer demands, instances like these underscore the importance of fostering an environment where all diners feel welcomed and valued, regardless of their dietary choices.