Healthy, delicious lunch for the office? We’ll deliver.

Posted on June 5 2017

There have been quite a few changes, updates and improvements over the last year or so at Vital, and the most recent (and exciting, even if we say so ourselves) is the overhaul of our delivery service.

Firstly, we’ve worked with our food heroes to create a shiny new delivery menu, which includes platters, side dishes, sweet treats and various other delicious bits and pieces, inspired by global influences, variety for those with dietary requirements and of course fresh, healthy food for breakfast and lunch.

Bites include generously filled wraps and sandwiches, salad platters, crisps and dips, crudités, juicy spiced chicken skewers, protein pots, brownies and delicate macarons.

Secondly, the new menu comes with a brand new online platform and delivery service, which means:

  • Delivery across zone 1
  • Late ordering – we’ll deliver until 8pm
  • Dedicated delivery teams
  • Food at your door within an hour

You can also place your delivery order via the app, which has the added bonus of loyalty points! You’ll get your usual 10 points per pound spent, meaning if it’s a big enough order there’ll be enough points for lunch on the house for you!

If it’s raining (it’s almost biblical outside as we’re typing this..) or you don’t fancy going out, we’re also on Deliveroo so even if it’s just you, we have it covered.

Have a look at the new menu, and let us know what you think. Hope to see you soon.

Vital-49

Posted in Blog

New year, new you…?

Posted on January 9 2017

Hold on, there’s nothing wrong with the old you.

You probably indulged over the festive season, but 1. who didn’t, and 2. it would be pretty sad to refuse all that delicious food and drink when it comes around so infrequently.

The thing to bear in mind is balance – getting back in the swing of things. Cycle to work, get to that pump class, do some yoga in front of the telly if you fancy. The leftovers (if you have anything left) can even be a bit healthier than the original if you throw them into soups and salad, eat the cheese and chocolate sparingly and save the leftover jar of goose fat for another roast down the line rather than spreading it on toast (as someone we know likes to do!).

Detoxing is actually a myth, peddled by companies who make huge amounts of money from the concept. Just use common sense, eat a balanced diet through the year and enjoy a few treats here and there.

Like they say, it’s January to December that counts, not December to January. #dontdetox.

See you soon!

Newyearnewyou

Posted in Blog

The Vital Ingredient App

Posted on November 11 2016

We like to stay ahead of the game at Vital, and as such we’re about to release our very first Vital Ingredient app!

You may have noticed that we’re always asking for your feedback, and the reason is so we can make changes that you actually want – introduce new food items, start new initiatives and take away aspects of Vital that you don’t like.

One of the things that hasn’t been working 100% effectively is our Club Vital cards – you told us that they don’t always scan and that the tiered points system is confusing. The app will mean points are collected automatically in store without any cards to scan, you can pay with it, use it for delivery and always be able to see how many points you have at a glance. We’ve also upped the number of points available, so it’s more generous all round.

It’s almost ready for download and will be on iOS and Android.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy using it, and as usual, let us know what you think.

App page 2 App page 1

Posted in Blog

How important is it for restaurants to have a conscience?

Posted on October 18 2016

Eating out, both at lunchtime and at evenings and weekends, is more of a key part of life than it’s ever been, and as such we have to develop more awareness of what we are doing to our environment, both as companies and consumers, or future generations won’t have anything left. Food waste is a huge issue, and something that all food outlets need to be aware of, no matter what their offering is. The food industry wastes 2.5 billon tonnes of food per year, and it’s something we at Vital are addressing, along with several other factors, as part of our partnership with the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Food Made Good program.

We are also working with Paper Round, who help us deal with other waste in a sustainable way, and our Artillery Row store was awarded for saving over 15,000kg of carbon dioxide in 2015. We look forward to seeing the results for this year!

blog
Something we often get asked about is our packaging, and you might be surprised to know that everything we use to contain your salads, hot food and coffees is made from recycled materials, and our plastic bags are recyclable too. We send our leftover food to be processed by an anaerobic digestion system, meaning we’re helping to produce gasses used for energy and fertiliser for more food. The circle of life in action!
The upshot is that although we are operating in a high-waste industry, our beliefs and ethos mean that we are always going to do as much as possible to limit our environmental impact. It is very important for all businesses to have an environmental conscience, and we do as much as we can to demonstrate that day to day.

Posted in Blog

The most important meal of the day

Posted on July 12 2016

We’ve recently discovered that not a lot of people know we do breakfast. Not just any breakfast – the Vital create-your-own ethos extends to the first meal of the day, and allows you to pick your base, yoghurt and toppings from a wide range of options, so you can make it exactly as you like.

Vegetarian blogger Veggie Lad likes it so much he recently had one for dinner. What more proof do you need?

We also do freshly made porridge and bacon sandwiches for those looking for something a little more traditional.

The cherry on the cake is you can get breakfast with a coffee for £3.95, which is pretty much unrivalled.

See you soon.

image

Pic courtesy of Jess, blogger at Eating East.

Posted in Blog

Ordering Online is Vital

Posted on June 13 2016

Originally posted by Balanced Busy Bodies

This month’s guest blogger is Balanced Busy Bodies, who has been trying out the Vital online ordering system.

Despite the media stories about growing obesity problems there is another one featuring a health craze. It appears that more and more people want to eat healthily, but seem to have less time available to preparing their own meals. At first glance Vital Ingredient is ‘just another salad bar’, but one of the things that sets them apart is the Vital Ingredient online ordering facility.

If you haven’t heard about Vital Ingredient before, they are definitely one to try. Salad making is a relatively straightforward business, but the folks at Vital Ingredient have really taken the time out to understand what ingredients work best together.

Standard menus include signature salads like our personal favourites – Nachos Grande and Super Cob, but also seasonal winners like Maple n’ Pear and Beef n’ Butternut Squash.

Although there is a menu per se with recommended combinations, you can also choose your own salad base and toppings. There are some pretty cool bases to choose from such as spiralised veg, quinoa and slaw.

The salad chain is so popular that it is not uncommon to see queues snaking out of the door.

This is why we thought we would give the online ordering a go. Although the queue moves quite quickly, nothing beats being able to walk in, grab your order and be back out the door and across the road before the traffic lights have changed.

So one lunchtime on a Friday, we jumped online to order a regular Beef n’ Butternut Squash salad and a pack of Tyrell’s crisps.

Placing the order was very straightforward: Go to the Vital Ingredient online ordering page, create an account (if you don’t have one already), select what you want from the menu, select the time you want to collect your order and pay. You can even customise your salad online the same way you would in-store.

Vital Online Ordering

Our order was placed at around 1245 and when we arrived at the branch at 5 minutes past 3, the salad was prepared and patiently waiting behind the til.

If you are super crunched for time, you can order for delivery if your delivery address is within a few miles of the branch. To use this service, though, your order needs to be over £20 and ordered by 11am for delivery for around 12pm.

The only drawback that we found to the collection service is that is not eligible for the Club Vital loyalty scheme, but if time is money it might be a worthwhile trade off.

How was the salad, you ask?

It was LOVELY! The Beef n’ Butternut Squash salad is made with rare roast beef, roasted butternut squash, broccoli, beetroot, Emmental cheese and kale pesto dressing. We think it’s great with either the suggested crunchy slaw base or the cos lettuce.

Vital ingredient Beef n Butternut Squash

Vital Ingredient also cater to all of the BBB profiles – their downloadable Allergen information sheet is comprehensive and even covers celery, mustard and sulphites so that customers can be well informed before making an order.

All in all, the Vital Ingredient experience is generally a good one and if you happen to be time poor, you’ll find their online ordering service very useful.

Posted in Blog

In with the new!

Posted on April 4 2016

We like to keep things fresh at Vital, as we know you need access to the newest and most innovative food and drink out there, so as well as our fresh salads and hot food that we prepare in-house, we also keep a good supply of other products to fulfil your every need. Since it’s spring (kind of) we’ve brought in some light bites and refreshing, healthy drinks to keep it fresh, and add some variety. Check out our new friends below:

Ugly 

Ugly doesn’t see why everything should be full of sugar, so they’ve created a range of unsweet water – refreshing fizzy drinks with no sugar or sweetener and nothing artificial, in grapefruit or lemon and lime.

Rebel Kitchen 

For those who are off the dairy, or those who just like a lovely creamy milk drink, Rebel Kitchen provides dairy-free coconut milk in a variety of flavours with no refined sugar.

Snact

Saving the world one apple at a time, Snact use fruit that would’ve been wasted to create fruit jerky – so you can snack whilst acting to reduce food waste and save the environment. And they taste lovely!

 

Posted in Blog

Avoiding Gluten

Posted on February 29 2016

If you’re still eating healthily based on New Year’s resolutions, well done, you’re doing a great job! It’s so easy to fall of the wagon, especially when it’s cold and miserable, although the days are now mercifully getting longer, so the end is in sight!

What can make healthy eating even more challenging is if for whatever reason you have to choose gluten free or dairy free – not so bad when you’re shopping and cooking yourself, but much more difficult when it comes to eating out.

Something that’s very important to us at Vital is making sure that we have a wide range of options for those who can’t eat gluten and/or dairy, and not only that they are there but that they are delicious. Our founder Alex is intolerant to gluten and taste tests everything we introduce, so you’re hearing it from the horse’s mouth.

Fifty of our salad bar ingredients don’t contain gluten and 49 don’t contain dairy, so lots of choice available! Our Bang Bang chicken is one of our most popular signature salads, containing no gluten or dairy, just a delicious selection of chicken, roquito peppers, vegetables and sweet chilli & lime dressing.

We change up the menu regularly so if there’s anything you particularly fancy or you have any feedback just let us know and we’ll see how we can incorporate it.

See you soon!

The Vital Team

Posted in Blog

New Year New Menu – with a little help from our team

Posted on January 29 2016

Hot Food generic stews

You may have noticed that we’ve had a few changes in recent weeks. A new menu is always a busy and exciting time, and since October we’ve been working away on what to introduce in January to shake things up, and specifically to develop our hot food range.

January is not the most fun time of year, as we’ve probably all experienced over recent weeks, and trying to be healthy and virtuous is often not the most appealing option. So this was the inspiration behind the new items, to keep lots of healthy options on the menu but add a bit more excitement, and improve on what we already had.

Following lots of research, tastings, brainstorming and hard graft by Nicola, our head of food (she’s a guru of all things healthy and delicious) we decided to feature a range of products based on street food from around the world. We still wanted to flexibility for you to be able to eat your way (that’s how we work after all) so we focused on creating variety, flavour, options for those on restricted diets and of course good value.

‘Our store managers come from around the world (Morocco, Spain, Lithuania and Columbia to name a few!) and we asked them for inspiration for new hot food dishes,’ explains Nicola.  ‘My favourite is the Brazilian Pork Feijoada, which was suggested by Joffer, our manager in Artillery Row.  I worked with Joffer to get the perfect recipe, and he was pretty strict to make sure the recipe was as authentically Brazilian as possible!  The result is delicious, and it’s proving really popular with our customers.  In Brazil the dish would be traditionally served with orange wedges, which you can try in Artillery Row, and maybe be served by Joffer too!’

So you can now pop into any Vital store and enjoy 4 different bases, or a combination, topped with Brazilian Pork Feijoada, Sri Lankan chicken, Thai green curry, saag paneer or chilli con carne – all hot, healthy and filling, which fits in perfectly with what we believe; that you can eat healthily every day and never be bored or hungry.

We are still (of course) salad heroes, and you can grab a freshly tossed salad made exactly to your specifications, and our breakfast is a lovely start to the day, with lots of options from create-your-own breakfast bowls to a lovely bacon muffin and fresh-ground coffee.

We’ve also just started working with Sibberi Birch Water which you can try in our Artillery Row and Fleet Street stores – a great addition to the range.

We want to know what you think about the new developments, so let us know on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or drop us a line over on the contact page.

Happy end-of-January!

The Vital Team 

Posted in Blog

Autumn Seasonal Launch

Posted on November 2 2015

We’ve had a busy few weeks at Vital Ingredient with the launch of our much anticipated seasonal Autumn Menu. This is the first time we’ve had a launch of this scale. Previously we’ve updated parts of our offering; the breakfast or delivery menu, however this launch involved updating our full Menu to include our new Autumn ingredients.

With all these changes to the Menus we decided this was the perfect opportunity to update the design of our menu boards across the estate. It has been three years since our last redesign and although the boards had a rustic charm, I was very much aware that the boards were very tired and the stores would very much benefit from a contemporary design.

The redesign involved simplifying the menu layout and categorising it under four headlines; Create your own, House, Hot food and Drinks menu boards. Photos of the food were added and the copy was updated to a more legible font. All graphics were printed onto a lighter 5mm foamex board, which is easier for the team members to lift when changing the menu from breakfast to lunch. The printed foamex boards are now hanging and supported from a fixed blackened steel back board. The result is a more professional menu that really allows our Autumn Menu to shout out.

Baker St after

New menu boards at Baker Street

The installation occurred over a week, our signage guys visited four stores a night, with each store taking 2-3 hours to remove existing menu boards and hang the new boards and directional signs. It was rather a painful week of long hours and unfortunately a staggered launch, which we were trying to avoid. However, the feedback from both customers and team members has been great and all the hard work has most certainly paid off.

The Autumn Menu is available now in all our stores and in head office we’re busy working on our hot food menu. The food photography shoot is booked for mid November and the new menu will be available from the beginning of next year.

Head of Design, Laura Armstrong

Posted in Blog

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