Posts Tagged ‘allergies’

Becoming Allergy Conscious

July 5, 2011

Over 18 million people are known to have a food allergy, and about 3 million have been diagnosed with a type of gluten intolerance known as Celiac disease.  Seeing these numbers, it may be wise for restaurants and restaurateurs to look into how to accommodate these guests.


If a restaurant is to become sensitive to the needs of all these customers, it has to make the commitment to do so.  It may not take very much money to become a sensitive partner with those with gluten intolerances and allergies, but it will take hard work on the part of members of the restaurant’s staff.


One way to start becoming more allergy conscious is to list the ingredients used in the food being prepared.  This is not an overly hard thing to do, and it can result in a customer feeling more at ease about what he or his family member is eating.


It also helps to show customers with special dietary needs that they are important.  Having a chef come out and discuss dishes with them or simply developing a gluten-free menu are other ways some restaurants have helped customers with special dietary needs feel wanted and special.


It is also important that there is no cross-contamination, particularly when dealing with Celiac disease.  Separate cooking utensils, pans, etc. must be used for dishes than contain gluten than for dishes that are gluten-free.


This course of action also puts responsibility into the hands of the employees.  Proper training is key.  The staff must be able to properly relay which orders are gluten-free, for example, and the cooking staff must prepare these meals in the correct manner to avoid problems.


It does take time and effort to develop a more allergy sensitive restaurant, but customers with special dietary needs will appreciate the time and care you take.  That, of course, can lead to customer loyalty which in turn can lead to more restaurant revenue.