How do i aDD A PLACE?
Our team decided which places should be in the app. If you would like to submit a place to be considered for inclusion in the app then please tip us. We absolutely love it when people tell us about their fave places! You don't have to own or work at the business you are suggesting either, you could just be walking past a new cafe one day and notice that they have a wicked fried tofu sandwich on the menu. Mmmm.
HOW DO YOU CURATE THE APP?
STEP 1: THE VEGAN DETECTIVES
When we started Vegan Oslo we spent every evening and all of our weekends walking around the city checking out all the stores and restaurant menus that we could, our eyes sharpened for words like 'tofu', 'falafel' and 'veggie options'. The day we launched the app, everything that was included in there was information sourced by Sally. She joined lots of facebook groups and followed many blogs so she could keep an eye on what other people had found in the city to be good potential vegan food sources, eventually getting Nick and Christian involved in the process too. As we got more popular we were inundated with emails and messages letting us know of other great places that we could include and some businesses got in touch too.
Now that we have become Vegan Norway it is important for us to have a great trusted team to help us curate an accurate and reliable vegan guide. We now have an awesome team of vegans which we find great places and do cool vegan stuff with. If you would like to be part of our team just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
STEP 2: INFO DIRECT FROM THE SOURCE
Every time we find a place which we think could be worth adding to the app, we go directly to the source. This means that we don't rely on someone else's review of a rumour that could be skewed by personal opinion. We usually get in contact with the potential places via email, phone, social media, or we just go there and chat to them. Unfortunately, sometimes we get no response so we have to keep trying to contact them or we just turn up there and bother them for info (hehe). Most of the time, we get a great response providing us with so much helpful information about food/products directly from the managers & chefs.
After we have chatted with a place directly we can figure out if they should be included in the app. This decision is usually reached by Sally, Nick and Christian with helpful input by the team.
STEP 3: IS THIS PLACE RECOMMENDED?
There are no hard and fast rules that constitute a place to be included in our recommended section. However, it is to be noted that no businesses can pay to be in this section or should be expected to be in there just because they want to. We are here to make life easier for vegans, not to make money from them. Therefore all of our recommendations are purely based upon quality of food, friendliness to vegans, demand and context. No business can pay to be recommended.
To give an example of our reasoning; Loving Hut St Hanshaugen (in Oslo) is in the recommended section because it is one of 3 fully vegan restaurants in the city. Sudøst is also in the recommended section because they provide a great 3 course vegan dinner, and are in our collective opinion a great place for a vegan date. There are so many great burrito places in Oslo that are vegan friendly, and for that reason only the best ones make our recommended list.
Another example is how we handle pizza places. We don't add pizza places to the recommended section unless they do a cheeseless pizza because basically every pizza place in the city could do a vegetarian pizza without cheese. In fact, we only add pizza places that do cheeseless pizza in the app if they are particularly vegan friendly, of great quality and in an area where there are not many other vegan alternatives.
We often have a lot of borderline cases and when this happens we vote on whether the place should be added to the recommended section within our team. It's very important that our recommended section is awesome and a good reflection of everyone's opinion. We don't want to dilute quality and make our app useless.
STEP 4: PUBLISH
When we are all in agreement about a place and its status, we publish it to the app and whenever we can, we make a post on social media about it. We really appreciate our users and the businesses we promote for free to spread the word that they are included in our great app. This is usually the beginning of a beautiful relationship between us and a vegan friendly business as they benefit greatly from all the new customers that they get via our app and social media. It's great if you want to let a business know that you found them via our app, making them more aware of the growing vegan community. This will help them increase knowledge about veganism, make them feel great about their choice to have vegan options and encourage them to provide more options for vegans in the future.
STEP 5: HOUSEKEEPING
It's not the end of the process when we add a place, nope, far from it actually! We set aside time every month to go through our database of places and check that we have the most current opening times, menu and other information for them. If a place closes or changes their menu (for the better or worse) then it is our responsibility to either rewrite the description, remove them from the app, or re-evaluate whether they should be in the recommended section. We also try and post about these changes on social media so that our users are kept up to date. We really appreciate our users and team members input here. As we now have so many places in the app, it's a challenge to keep track of them without your help.
If we learn that a place will be removing vegan options from their menu or product line we try our hardest to get in contact with them for a chat to see if its possible that they can change their mind before we make appropriate changes in the app. We want to be a kind and encouraging as possible to businesses that provide vegan options as we think they are awesome! We can't be responsible for how upset our community is when a place decides to remove vegan options, all we can do is help our users know the facts.
Why is Vegan Norway in English?
We're here to help as many people as possible. Vegan Norway aims to be a guide for the vibrant modern cities in Norway in which people from all over the world live and tourists frequently visit. We want to cater to everyone so the information we offer is presented in English, though we will link to useful information in Norwegian hosted by the many vegan groups and writers that we love.
Why is the app free? How do you make any money?
We made the app free because we want it to be as easy as possible for people to go vegan and we see our app as a great first step. In the future we will be introducing relevant ads and possibly sponsored posts on our social media and website but they will always be clearly marked as sponsored.
We run a vegetarian / fair trade / gluten free / organic business, why are we not included in the app?
Whilst we know that many vegans appreciate those kind of things, you must understand that if you aren't selling anything vegan, you are of no help to our customers.
Who runs Vegan Norway?
The app is run by Sally Renshaw, Christian Ihle and Nick Hagger.
Why should I trust you?
We are all vegan, veganism is our passion and we put a lot of time and effort into our research and reviews.