Special Diet Requests And Catering

When you're planning your catered event, it is critical that you take special diets into consideration. People without allergies or special dietary needs may not give it a second thought, but that would be a mistake. An estimated 7.3 million Americans are vegetarians, and up to 15 million Americans may have food allergies. Allergies can range from mildly annoying for some people to potentially fatal for others. Take the following steps to ensure your guests have an enjoyable and safe meal at your special event.

  • Make a list ahead of time. Before you even meet with a caterer, make a list. Ask your guests for a complete list of any foods they are allergic to. Ask them if they are on a vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or other diet. Once you have all the information, organize it. Tally up how many vegetarians, vegans, etc. you have. How many people with peanut allergies? All this is important because it will make a difference for the caterer's preparation, whether you only have one vegetarian guest or a dozen.
  • Make special requests early on. When you meet with a catering sales manager or representative for the first time, give them that list you made. Go over any unusual or special considerations. You will make it much easier on the caterer if you give them all this information up front. If you give caterers a special request at the last minute, they may not be able to accommodate the request, or the quality of the meal may suffer.
  • Ask if they offer special menus. Some caterers will offer entire gluten-free or vegetarian menus that everyone can enjoy. This will save both you and your caterer from having to plan an entirely new menu for guests with diet differences. This may, in turn, save you some money, as it's less work for your caterer.
  • Ask about the food prep area. If you have guests with serious allergies to certain ingredients, ask your caterer if they work with a certified gluten or allergen-free kitchen. If they do, you and your guests can have a worry-free meal knowing there is no chance of allergen-contaminated food in your dishes.
  • Make the distinction. Specify if your guests have an allergy as opposed to a preference. For example, you should tell your caterer that your guest "has a gluten allergy" or "has celiac disease" as opposed to "he prefers gluten-free." The latter implies that gluten-free is optional, and some caterers may not take the request as seriously as if they'd been told it was an allergy or other medical condition.

Follow the above tips and you can be confident that all your guests will enjoy their catered meal, such as from Campion Rose Burns Catering, no matter what their special dietary needs may be.