Providing Food and Beverage Service for People with Special Dietary Needs

Whether you are providing food for a social event hosting friends and family, or you run a small food and beverage outlet like a restaurant or food truck, you need to be able to provide for special dietary needs. Every customer counts in business, and every guest should be provided for at a party. Here are some of the common special dietary requirements people have and how to cater to them.

Providing Foods and Drinks for People with Allergies

Some food allergies are potentially lethal. An allergy to nuts, for example, can cause a severe allergic reaction that closes the airways in the lungs and throat, causing people to suffocate. Other food allergies can cause reactions that are much less extreme but can still be very distressing for their sufferers and their families.

When providing food and beverage service, whether privately or professionally, you should take steps to ensure that people who suffer from allergic reactions to some foods and drinks are protected. Awareness is the first step. Plan and execute food preparation with allergies in mind. Consider using separate preparation surfaces and utensils when working with high-allergen foods like nuts, dairy, or products that contain gluten.

Labeling foods at the buffet table or on a menu can help guests and customers with allergies make appropriate choices. The steps you have taken while preparing and cooking food and beverages allow them to eat and drink with confidence. 

Options for People with Dysphagia (Swallowing Problems)

Dysphagia is the medical term for having difficulty swallowing. This can create a lot of challenges for sufferers, especially when eating out or visiting friends and family for communal meals and special occasions. There are options available that can help and provide the perfect solution for both private catering for social gatherings and professional venues like restaurants and bars.

SimplyThick is a food and beverage thickener that has been designed with dysphagia in mind. It can be easily added to a large number of foods and drinks. It is a gel-based instant thickener that works in juices, coffee, teas, sodas, and just about anything. It can also be used with foods to make them easier to swallow for people who suffer from dysphagia.

Providing for Vegans and Vegetarians

Though it is often seen more as a choice than a dietary need, veganism and vegetarianism are hugely popular diets that require careful consideration whether you are providing food professionally or personally. Many social gatherings miss out on vegan and vegetarian options entirely, often leading their vegan and vegetarian guest to provide for themselves. 

Restaurants will often provide options as an afterthought and rely on dull vegan-friendly staples like mushrooms and bell peppers. Meat substitutes are becoming increasingly popular among vegans and vegetarians and provide a welcome alternative to tofu and beans. These foods are also popular with non-vegan and vegetarian eaters, creating an opportunity to provide everybody with the same dishes and ingredients.

Follow this advice and you will be able to provide food and beverages for anyone, no matter what their dietary requirements. Whether serving food in a professional setting or for a private gathering, you should be aware of people’s needs and do your best to cater to them.