Want to be the best host ever? You need to read this step-by-step guide first! In this article, we highlight some of the most common types of food allergies and dietary requirements and ways in which you can cater to the needs of all guests.
How to Cater for Guests with Allergies and Dietary Requirements
Catering for guests with allergies and dietary restrictions requires careful consideration and attention to detail. Food allergies involve immune system reactions to specific foods, leading to various symptoms and, in severe cases, life-threatening reactions known as anaphylaxis. Dietary requirements encompass a broader range of nutritional needs and restrictions, influenced by health conditions, religious beliefs, ethical choices, and personal preferences.
Common Types of Food Allergies and Dietary Requirements
To accommodate such guests, event organizers and hosts must be well-informed about potential allergens, read food labels diligently, and plan menus that cater to different dietary needs, ensuring a safe and enjoyable dining experience for all attendees. Below are some of the most common types of food allergies and dietary requirements.
- Food Intolerance or Sensitivity: Difficulty digesting certain foods and having an unpleasant physical reaction.
- Coeliac Disease: A common digestive condition where the small intestine becomes inflamed and unable to absorb nutrients
- Pescatarian: A person who does not eat meat but does eat fish.
- Kosher: Food that adheres to Jewish law, as defined in the Torah. The rules pertain to animal products, fruits, vegetables, cereals, and alcohol.
- Vegetarian: A person who does not eat meat or fish.
- Vegan: A person who does not eat animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and, in most cases, honey.
Decide How Accommodating You’d Like to be.
When you send out return cards with the invitations, let guests know what kind of food you will be having and add a place on the card for an option to add any dietary restrictions. Guests with dietary restrictions or food allergies will be very excited to see that this is an option.
Check with the venue after you receive a few return cards back and see if they can work around the food allergies or dietary restrictions.
On the day of the wedding, display what is on the menu on an easel for your guests to see and if there are any extra dishes made to accommodate them. Your guest will be so appreciative that you went the extra mile to make sure their dietary needs are being met.
During the cocktail hour, you could also have some different snacks set out that are allergy friendly. This will help to ensure that all guests are able to eat something and won’t be starving throughout the event, possibly leading to an early departure.
Just remember it is your special day. Your guest will understand whatever you decide to include on the menu.
Don’t Forget About the Drinks
Drinks are important as well. Some people won’t drink alcohol, so make sure you have non-alcohol options as well. Soda, water, coffee, and tea are usually available at most venues. You could also add a few different specialty drinks to make sure you have something for everyone.
For the kids, consider a kid station with juice boxes, Capri-sun, and hot chocolate, along with some snacks. Not only will the kids be happy, but their parents will be too!
And Dessert, Too
Looking into different desserts for guests with food allergies or dietary restrictions is also recommended. What is a wedding without a table full of assorted desserts? Add sugar-free dessert options for your diabetic guests, and gluten-free options for individuals with coeliac disease. But don’t forget about the chocolate lovers! You can never go wrong with a variety of sweets.
At the end of the night, all of your guests will be thankful that you considered their dietary restrictions and leave with an amazing memory of celebrating your big day as well.
Andre’s Banquet & Catering | St. Louis, MO
At Andre’s, we are a full-service catering company. We provide the meal, 4-hour open bar, china dinnerware, linen tablecloths, chair covers, the personnel, as well as an onsite coordinator. We are a one-stop-shop facility that can offer guidance in planning and organizing your day. Andre’s coordinates with several different vendors to make your planning process painless!
Contact us today for any questions or reservations.