Friday, November 6, 2009

Dietary Restrictions and Event Menu Planning

With all the friends and family we all have, many of us do not get the opportunity to dine with everyone at any given time. When planning an event, especially when you are allowing your guests to bring a guest, it's important to consider people's dietary restrictions when planning the menu.

One item that is often overlooked is a vegetarian menu item. Considering there are almost 4.7 million adult vegetarians residing within the U.S., there's bound to be a few you were not even aware were vegetarians attending your event. Speaking to your caterer to be sure they offer an off-menu, by request option will be appreciated by guests. The fact they have an option besides side dishes they can dine on makes a great impression as many events they attend will not have this consideration.

Vegetarian guests will often not bother to notify you of their dietary preference mostly out of politeness as to not be a hindrance to the host of the event. For guests who have severe allergies (nuts, gluten, soy, etc.) they if attending will more than likely contact you in advance to let you know what they are allergic to, or will be sure to ask waiters, etc. to ask the chef about what items they can safely eat. In either case it's a good subject to broach with your caterer in advance as to what items are available for guests with allergies or what their policy is so you are prepared in advance. With food allergies being so prevalent nowadays it's better to be safe than run the risk of having a guest hospitalized later.

Have you ever been to an event where the host has taken dietary restrictions in account? If so was it something you appreciated or didn't feel was necessary?

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