Food is an important part of any event, and you certainly want to make sure that your attendees are well fed. However, it’s not always as simple as preparing one menu for all guests, as special diets and allergies are actually really common.
From gluten-free, vegan and sugar-free to people who simply don’t like certain types of food, as an event organiser, it’s your job to cater to the special dietary requirements of your attendees.
While it can be difficult to please everyone, there are some ways in which you can make your life easier when it comes to arranging the catering for your event.
Our top tips for catering to all requirements
Catering for everyone can be a challenge, but we’ve got some top tips below…
Communicate with your attendees
Firstly, find out from your attendees whether or not they have any special dietary requirements. This can be a simple form to fill in or asking people to get in touch if they have any allergies etc. Finding out well in advance about the dietary needs of your guests gives you all the time you need to inform your caterers and decide on a menu to suit everyone.
Utilise the expertise of your caterers
Your caterers will need to know in plenty of time if they need to prepare special menus or food options, so it could be worth setting a deadline for your guests to get in touch regarding this. If people fail to meet the deadline you can explain that you will try to accommodate as best you can under the circumstances.
Plan your menu
Once you know what special dietary requirements you need to cater to, you can start planning your menu. It would be a good idea to keep in communication with guests who are really particular about what they eat, just to be sure that they will eat what you prepare. Your catering company should be able to help you plan a menu that suits your guests.
Make sure your staff know everything they need to
On the day of your event, you should make sure that all of your staff are well-trained and aware of the ingredients that have gone into the food. This is because it’s not uncommon that people, especially those with allergies, will want to double-check what they’re eating. Therefore, your staff should be aware and able to answer any questions that your guests may have.
On a slightly more serious note, if you can’t absolutely guarantee that something is allergen-free, you should work with a legal expert to create a liability statement that says you take the utmost precautions, but can’t guarantee that the food is 100% allergen-free.
Generally speaking, the most common dietary needs will be gluten-free, vegetarian/vegan, dairy-free, as well as any allergies people may have. Your caters should be able to help you out with choosing a menu, but you need to be aware of any needs and requirements your attendees may have, as well as ensuring you know what ingredients are in the meals you serve.
At Winter Gardens, we have a team of executive chefs on hand to create meals tailored to your specifications. You can choose from our pre-set options or create a totally bespoke menu to suit the needs of your event and guests. Get in touch on 01253 625252 or email [email protected] to see how we can help.