Vegetarian restaurant chain Otarian leaves UK shores

By Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Restaurant chain, London, Uk

Otarian on Wardour Street has now closed
Otarian on Wardour Street has now closed
Otarian, the US-based fast-casual vegetarian restaurant chain, has pulled out of the UK just a year after launching its first restaurant on Shaftesbury Avenue.

The group was set to be the UK’s first fully vegetarian restaurant chain, and had sites on Wardour Street and Regent Street in place for roll out once Shaftesbury Avenue was fully operational.

However it is understood that Otarian disposed of its Wardour Street site last month and the Regent Street unit before it even opened. It is now marketing the Shaftesbury Avenue site for sale.

A message posted on its London website read: “We are currently working to expand our eco-friendly range and to improve our offerings to you. During this time of development, we shall not be functioning in UK. We realize this will come as a disappointment to all the Otarian London fans, but rest assured that we shall soon be bringing back a tastier, yummier Otarian experience that will make you forget that we were ever gone.

“You can catch up with us at our fully functioning New York stores anytime! If that's hard on your schedule, visit us at our website, FB or Twitter pages and we will keep you updated about what's going on with the Otarian way of life. Keep doing your best to save our planet, London.

“We will soon be back to help you better, one delicious Otarian meal at a time.”

Otarian, which is headed by Australian environmentalist Radhika Oswal, now only operates one restaurant in New York City.

It had claimed to be the first global restaurant chain to calculate the carbon footprint of each dish on its menus.

Otarian claimed diners could save up to 3kg of carbon for every set ‘Carbon Saving Combo Meal’ with dishes such as Tandoori Mushroom O Paneer Wrap, Potato, Onion O Dill Flatbread and Roasted Vegetable Cous Cous.

Related topics: Openings, Restaurant

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Twitter madness

Posted by Alice Grier,

I am not sure if people have seen, but since announcing their departure from the UK, Otarian then embarked on a campaign of angry, argumentative tweets. They attacked popular foodies such as Chris Pople and Bea's of Bloomsbury, insulting them and arguing about the morality of eating meat (in a very sloppy, swear filled way!)

An example tweet: "@inaboxx Off you go then. Happy heart-disease, cholestrol, cancer and everything else you deserve."

I thought it was a hack, but it isn't! Have a look @otarian

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A question of Style over Substance?

Posted by Tim Whitehead,

Perhaps it shows in the current climate that style alone will not be sustainable? I agree with Joe, Otarian COULD do well here, but they need to get the basics right - I hope thet they come back soon and learn from the mistakes made first time round.

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Posted by Joe WInter,

I'll miss it alot (and ill miss the points i didnt get to spend!!) But I think a BIG part of the reason, as fickle as it may be, is the decor... it's not something Londoners relate to. it doesn't look appealing nor compete in any way with whats interesting, current and hot out there right now. Otarian COULD do well here, but they should focus on Decor, price (waaay too expensive) and healthy the meal is (not its footprint)

Also, the customer service from a head office point of view was kinda slack. You enter competitions but don't get your prize because no-one emails you back!!! NOT good.

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