The Dietary Dilemma: How to Accommodate Guests & Their Food Restrictions at Your Next Event
These days it seems like everyone is on a different nutrition regimen - gluten free, lactose free, paleo, vegan – you name it, someone’s on it. While we are all about being happy and healthy, the amount of people who have dietary restrictions or allergies combined with the diversity of these diets can make planning the food for an event very stressful. If you are organizing any upcoming party or celebration, we have some tips and reminders to ease your party-planning mind:
1. Do Not Underestimate a Guest with Food Allergies/Restrictions: Most people who have strict food regimens are used to having to navigate the food situation every single time they have a meal. They know what foods they can and cannot eat, and understand that at large events or certain restaurants there might not be a special meal waiting to accommodate their specific food needs. So while it is important as host to consider your guests and their dietary restraints, understand that your guests are also aware that you might not be able to provide them with a customized meal, and are okay with that.
2. Consider a Buffet: Buffets are great because they give people options. Everyone can choose exactly what they do or do not want to eat, and if you provide a large enough variety of food, you will manage to accommodate people and their diets. Plus, buffets are often less expensive than sit-down meals because less staff and tableware is needed.
3. Have Options: Whether you opt for a buffet or not, have various food options available. This is especially important for the main course. In general it is good to have three selections – usually two protein options (chicken, fish and/or meat are safe and popular options) and a vegetarian one. It is nice provide your guests with vegetarian/gluten free options during other courses, like hors d’oeuvres and even dessert.
4. Talk to your caterer and wedding planner!: That is what we are here for, to help! Discuss with your planner what kind of caterer you would like to have, and they will work with you to find the one that suits your needs perfectly. Once you choose a caterer, talk with them about your menu, diet restrictions, and any questions or concerns you have. Their help is invaluable.