Food is one of the most important parts of any event. Some would argue that it’s the most important part.
But people are very particular about their diets. From religious restrictions to allergies, planning any event is a serious task. These days, offering a wide variety of options on the menu based on dietary restrictions has become a rule, as opposed to an exception.
With over 5% of people in the U.S. being vegetarian and 3% being vegan, having proper knowledge of their dietary restrictions has become essential for event planners. Not to mention the food allergies that a lot of people suffer from. Event planners must account for all of these factors to ensure an inclusive menu.
Here are some smart strategies to keep in mind when planning the menu for your next big corporate event:
Most events have a list of all the attendees. So you can send the attendees a form to fill out a couple of weeks before the event that includes a section for food allergies and dietary restrictions. This will help you understand the dietary requirements of the attendees and will help you plan a menu accordingly.
It’s also important to ensure that the menu is in accordance with the theme of the event. So, an event for animal rights should only include vegan or vegetarian dishes, and so on.
It’s vital for event planners to be familiar with the latest trends in diets. The most common diets are:
Popular religious dietary restrictions are halal foods for Muslims and kosher meals for Jewish people.
Whether it’s a buffet menu or individually served meals, it’s always a smart idea to include labels next to all dishes. The labels should include the basic ingredients and any possible allergens. For example, if a sauce contains peanuts, it should mention that on the label.
You could also include diet labels such as dairy-free, gluten-free, or vegan to make it easier for attendees to identify what they can eat safely. This will also make it easier for servers to help attendees find a suitable option for their dietary preferences.
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