Special Dietary Requirements Catering Guide for Event Planners

Through the years, modern etiquette for corporate catering services has changed dramatically.  Inviting guests to wine and dine at a corporate event should be planned carefully and thoughtfully.

Currently, dietary restrictions and allergies are taken into account when providing a catering service. From strict vegan diets to gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and Paleo-style diets, just to name a few.

In addition to the challenges of creating menus, it has also been an enriching experience for catering professionals. Since the majority of reputable caterers are working around their menu to accommodate their clients’ diverse dietary requirements.

If many of your guests have food intolerances, dietary restrictions, and special requests, it can be difficult to plan a catering menu for the event. Catering companies, on the other hand, can still provide your guest list with an impressive menu without affecting the food served to the remaining guests. A catering company that can address these challenges are always at the top of the industry. These are the companies that you should always remember to consider for corporate events and parties. 

  • Make sure to check in with your guests about dietary restrictions, if any

This is a key part of your job as the event planner for your upcoming corporate event. It’s best to send out your inquiries several weeks before your event, since catering to dietary restrictions takes time. The goal is to deliver a memorable and tasty experience for everyone at your event. To make this a reality, you can’t be caught off-guard at the last minute with special requests and dietary demands. 

Ask your guests politely either via e-mail or over the phone if they have any special dietary needs.  As well as explaining to them that you need such information to plan your menu for the event. It is important for you to find out any dietary restrictions or special requests as this will need to be communicated to your caterer before they finalise the menu for your corporate event or party. Give your guests a deadline to submit their dietary requests and inform them if the caterer cannot accommodate such requests.

  • Accommodating restrictions should be a key part of a catering company’s core services

To ensure your guests’ satisfaction, you need a caterer with a positive reputation and years of experience in corporate catering. A catering company should have expert knowledge in the prevailing trends in terms of food allergies and dietary restrictions of a large percentage of the Australian population. There are some factors that need to be considered when creating tasty yet delicious catering menus for clients, such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

A catering company that pays close attention to dietary restrictions will be able to create dishes for corporate events easier. Hence, when choosing a caterer, ask about their expertise/background in preparing menus for individuals with food allergies/dietary restrictions.

Here are some of the dietary restrictions that event planners like you should be aware of as well. So you can quickly identify the number of guests who will need a set of special menus during your planned corporate event:

  • It is required to follow gluten-free diets if one suffers from Celiac disease. It is an autoimmune condition in which the body cannot tolerate gluten. There are also individuals with gluten sensitivity, wherein they suffer from Celiac symptoms when they ingest gluten. 

  • Dairy-free diets are for people suffering from lactose intolerance. Their bodies cannot digest lactose- a common ingredient found in milk, cheeses, and other dairy products. 

  • A nut allergy occurs when the immune system reacts excessively to nuts, which may lead to life-threatening symptoms. People with nut allergies are commonly sensitive to hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, and in some cases, even coconut. 

  • Paleo diet is a nutritional system wherein individuals only eat food items, such as meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables. Paleo dieters do not consume whole grain, grains, and processed foods. 

  • Raw veganism is a dietary restriction that combines veganism and raw foodism. Individuals under this diet excludes all animal products and do not consume foods that are cooked above 48 degrees Celsius. 

  • Soy-free diets are for individuals with known sensitivity to soy products. This commonly occurs in children, who develop symptoms when they ingest soy milk, tofu, soy protein, and other commercial food ingredients derived from soy. 

  • Vegetarianism is food philosophy where people only follow a plant-based diet with strict exclusion of meat and fish products. 

  • Veganism is a diet philosophy where all animal products are excluded from the diet, including milk, dairy, and eggs.

  • Wheat tolerance differs from gluten intolerance in that the former can still suffer adverse effects from gluten-free diets. They are generally allergic to barley, oats, rye, and other food items containing wheat.

As an event planner, you need to be very specific in identifying these dietary restrictions and food allergies to your preferred catering company. This will enable caterers to adjust the menu to accommodate any identified food sensitivities that your guests may have. 

Catering companies can create a catering menu for all guests with consideration to specific food allergies and dietary restrictions a few select guests may have. This approach is extremely challenging for caterers. The second approach is simpler and more effective, in that caterers will create individual meals that will be served to guests with identified food allergies and dietary restrictions. Either way, so long as all the dietary needs of guests are addressed by your catering company, your catering menu will be a success altogether. 

If you have an upcoming event and want to discuss dietary restrictions and special menu creation, give us a call today! Square Catering is a catering company that is dedicated to producing quality, healthy, and safe food for the clients we serve. 


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