Grazing table of appetizers

How to Cater to Dietary Restrictions When Building an Event Menu


Today, at least 32 million Americans have food allergies, and in addition to allergies, it’s pretty common these days to encounter people who follow certain diets for health or ideological reasons. In the whirlwind of planning an entire event, whether it be a wedding reception, corporate event, or birthday celebration, you may be struggling to determine how—or how little—you’ll need to accommodate guests’ dietary restrictions. Use this guide to help you navigate working with your catering team to ensure everyone present for the big day is fed and having a great time

Show Compassion

Your guests are expecting an amazing catering menu, and among a group of family members, friends, or coworkers, you definitely don’t want anyone to feel left out or potentially offended. Some people with gluten intolerances or autoimmune disease can become severely ill after ingesting food with gluten, and others may follow certain diet restrictions according to their religious beliefs, which can impact the type of food, or time, that they eat.

When you consider the needs of everyone in attendance, you don’t have to worry about anyone having to bring their own meal to the event, or worse, risking an allergic reaction. It’s not completely on the event planner to figure out and navigate solutions all on their own—communicating with guests ahead of time makes a huge difference in the amount of stress placed on the host and catering team.

The Power of the RSVP

It’s important that when you send our RSVP requests to your guests, you allow enough time for them to respond and provide space for them to communicate any food allergies or dietary restrictions. Not only will this help you cover all of your bases—you may discover an old friend has a new dietary restriction you didn’t know about yet—but it will provide your caterer enough time to curate an inclusive menu.

Label Every Dish

Doing your part the day of doesn’t have to be as intense as planning for dietary restrictions. Work with your caterer to simply ensure that every dish and beverage is labeled. Be sure to also provide guests with information about what’s in the food, which may include displaying messages such as “contains soy,” “contains meat,” or “contains dairy.” A professional caterer should understand the real risks of cross-contamination and take appropriate measures to ensure that guests can consume the food that’s labeled as safe for them to eat

Enjoy delicious, locally sourced New Orleans favorites when you work with the Elysian Events Catering team. We offer clients custom menu options to tailor their menu for dietary restrictions and are happy to help you select the perfect menu offerings for your event. Book your event with our team today by sending us a message or calling (504) 541-0091.

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