Allergies & Customers

It is often a challenge for people with food allergies to enjoy eating in restaurants.  Whether is it a “quick bite” for lunch or a romantic evening, your experience can be ruined if you have food allergies and are not provided such information from the restaurant. 

For example, if you are in an Italian restaurant and are allergic to tomatoes, onion and garlic you may have difficulty ordering a meal. Clearly it doesn’t take much to separate a successful dining experience from a negative one, expecially when the sensitive subject of food allergies is involved.  Successfully providing a great dining experience for people with food allergies should be of importance to all restaurant owners.

Another point to consider is that people with food allergies, a group estimated to number more than 12 million in the United States, can be fiercely loyal to the places that make them feel comfortable. As consumers become more educated about sensitivities to such things as nuts, soy, shellfish and gluten, restaurants  need to be prepared to meet the minimum requirements to keep them healthy, but also to create a hospitable environment.

The Flat Rock Grill is already making an effort with a build-your-own stir-fry devoting a large portion of the in-store signage to allergy do’s and don’ts.  Uno Chicago Grill lists both gluten free and allergy friendly dishes on their website. 

It doesn’t always take such drastic measures but the key is educating servers. Do your servers know which cuts of meat are marinated and which are not? Do they know the type of oil used in the fryers? Could they suggest a dish for someone with a peanut or shellfish allergy?

Educating servers to make alternative suggestions is an easy, cost effective way to ensure your guests’ satisfactory dining experience as well as the future health of your business.

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