Whether you are hosting a formal party, planning a small get together with friends or ordering catering for a business event, it is always important to consider your guest’s special dietary requirements and needs.
In this day and age, many people follow different types of diets, have special eating customs and/or suffer from food allergies. As a host, it is important to learn and be aware of your guests’ dietary requirements. It may sound difficult, but it is extremely important to know about any dietary requirements otherwise your guests may feel hungry and left out. An experienced caterer will be able to help you choose menu items that cater to all your guests.
Below are the most common types of dietary requirements:
Gluten-free / Coeliac
The main reason people follow a gluten-free diet is if they suffer from coeliac disease or are gluten intolerant. Common cereals like wheat, rye and barley, which are used to make popular foods such as pasta, bread and cakes, are all rich in gluten. Also, over recent years some people have become more health-conscious and opt for a gluten-free diet. The good thing is, gluten-free foods are widely available, so there are now many fantastic alternatives for gluten free guests.
Dairy-Free / Lactose Intolerant
Many people choose to follow a dairy free diet. Those who are lactose-intolerant follow dairy-free or lactose free diets because they have a decreased ability to digest lactose, a sugar found in dairy products. There are others that are allergic to animal milk and other milk products like butter, cheese, yoghurt etc.
When selecting dairy-free items, you should be very careful because many food items contain milk proteins you might not be aware of. A good practice is to check out the labels on the food products and look for ‘dairy-free’ or ‘lactose free’ labels. Furthermore, there are plenty of plant-based milk options you can include such as coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk etc.
Contact our friendly team to discuss our dairy free menu items.
Vegetarians do not eat meat, poultry, game, fish or shellfish. Their diet includes fruit, vegetables, grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, dairy products and eggs.
There are plenty of delicious foods you can include for your vegetarian guests. Many restaurants and vegetarian catering services offer a great variety of vegetarian options.
A pescatarian is a person that follows a vegetarian diet but includes seafood. If you are catering an event with guests who are pescatarian, you can easily fulfill this requirement by having various seafood options along with vegetarian dishes.
Vegan excludes all animal products. That means a vegan person will not eat any meat, poultry, eggs or dairy products. In a simple way, vegans follow a strict version of the vegetarian diet, which excludes dairy products. Vegan diets have become quite popular and as a result, there are plenty of vegan menu items available in cafes, restaurants and vegan catering services.
Checklist For Catering To Special Dietary Requirement
Most guests with special dietary requirements will let you know of this beforehand. However, here are some useful tips to help you cater for potential special dietary requirements.
1. Casual Event
If you’re planning a casual party or catering for a small group of friends, try to include a mixed variety of vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free items in your menu.
2. Formal Event
If you’re going to host a formal event, it is very important to know about all the special dietary needs of your invited guests. These days it has become a common practice for the host to include a special dietaries question/section within the invitation or RSVP card, this way it is easy to record dietaries.
3. Ensure You Tell Your Caterer About All Dietary Requirements Prior To The Event
Many caterers encourage clients to include a variety of dietary options within their selected menu. However, it is important to inform your caterer about the needs of your invited guests. It will help them prepare suitable items for your guests.
At THE RK GROUP, we offer a variety of options for guests with special dietary requirements. Please contact us to discuss your catering requirements.