Everything You Need to Know About Special Diet Catering

When planning a corporate event, catering is a crucial element that needs special consideration. It may be necessary for you to look into special diet catering. Given you will be serving a large number of people, some of which have special diets they strictly adhere to. Before you go on panic mode, bear in mind that creating a special diet catering menu doesn’t have to be too complicated or tricky. 

It can be challenging to formulate a special diet catering menu. But, with careful planning you can make one without having to feel stressed throughout the entire process. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how you can create a customized special diet catering for your upcoming corporate event. 

Why the need to follow a special diet? 

There will be a number of guests attending your next company event who suffer from food allergies or intolerances. Additionally, you should expect that some of your colleagues/clients may adhere strictly to health fads, restrictions, and food preferences. While it may be easy to ignore them and go for a cookie-cutter corporate menu, you also want to make sure that all your attendees enjoy their time at your event. Hence, it is essential you pay attention to the menu and consider it an integral part of your corporate event.

To realise your plan of creating a special diet catering for your special event, it’s important to find a catering company that is open and flexible to your food suggestions. A reputable catering company should be able to apple the special requests from clients like you. It’s also crucial that you book with a catering company a few months before your scheduled event. This will give you ample time to work on a special diet catering menu that has all the bases covered. 

So, what are the most common dietary requirements? 

There are many reasons why people are limiting their intake to certain types of food. Here are some of them:

  • Food allergies and intolerances

Some people suffer from serious side effects when they consume nuts while some may manifest gastric disturbances when they drink milk or ingest food items with gluten. 

  • Special dietary requirements or limitations

There are individuals who have no food allergies or intolerances but personally prefer not to consume certain good groups. Excellent examples of these are vegans and vegetarians. Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, some women may be averse to eating certain types of foods. In addition, pregnant women are strongly advised not to eat certain food items during pregnancy to avoid complications. A good example of this is prohibiting the consumption of sashimi during a woman’s pregnancy. 

  • Religious beliefs

Followers of Islam do not eat pork while Hindus avoid eating beef. There are also Buddhist monks who limit their intake to vegetables due to their religious practices and beliefs. 

Here are a few tips on how you can successfully establish a carefully-planned and strategic special diet catering menu for your colleagues and clients:

  • Do not forget to place allergen statements on the menu. You may also place this information beside dishes when you opt for a buffet for your event. Another excellent way of informing people about your special diet catering menu is by listing down the key ingredients for every dish. This is an effective way of helping your guests avoid dishes that they are highly-allergic to. You may also provide a word of caution personally before your guests are served with the food or line up at the buffet table. 
  • Include calorie counts and nutritional facts. In this day and age, we are witnessing the clear connection between health and food. It’s not surprising that many people are paying more attention to what they consume. While some choose to be on a special diet to lose weight, there are also people who choose to be on a special diet mainly for health reasons. Either way, it would be ideal for your guests to have access to the calorie counts and nutritional facts of dishes served at your event. Regardless of their motivation or purpose for being under special diets, it is the right of your guests to know what they place in their bodies hence remember to include calorie counts and nutritional facts beside each dish or menu list. 
  • If you want a customised approach to special diets catering, we highly recommend that you collaborate with your catering company to create dishes that can be consumed by those who have food allergies and intolerances. If you are serving food per table, it may be best to plan ahead and ask your guests of any food intolerances or allergies they may have. You may need to e-mail your guests regarding this concern, so you can plan your corporate party’s catering carefully. 
  • For those who have special food requests or preferences, you may need to ask them if they are willing to shoulder a percentage of the cost of preparing their preferred dish. There are instances when the food requests may include purchasing expensive ingredients separately, so it’s totally fine to ask your guests to share a portion of the costs. 

A few days before the event or before the catering company starts preparing the dishes for the event, make sure to discuss the special diets with them one last time. It’s recommended that you maintain open and honest communication lines with your caterer, so you are prepared for any issues that may potentially arise during the event. Make sure to facilitate or have someone take over the distribution or serving of food for those with serious food allergies, to make sure they are not supplied with the wrong dishes or food items. 

If you have any questions regarding special diets catering or if you want to book an appointment with us, call Square Catering direct line today.

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