Ask any event planner and they will tell you that the bane of their existence is dietaries.
There was a time, many moons ago, where you could serve a plate of sandwiches and a cup of tea and people were OK with that. These days, guests will ask you if the menu is gluten-free, organic, FODMAP-friendly, sustainably sourced, free of nuts and shellfish and vegetarian/vegan.
And that’s just the beginning.
There are issues like Coeliac disease and allergies, religious restrictions, and even strong personal preferences that also make it onto the dietary list.
So where does that leave the event planner?
The best case scenario is that they work with a caterer who is flexible and has lots of options that suit several dietaries.
Food Adventura’s paella menu is a great option because it’s automatically gluten-free but can easily be adapted for a range of other dietaries.
For vegans and vegetarians, paella can be made with vegetable stock and using only veggies.
Here is a checklist of the best way to manage dietaries:
- Do your research beforehand
Make sure you ask your guests if they have any dietaries well in advance of the event so you can advise the caterers. Some of the most common dietaries you may be asked for are nut-free, gluten and wheat-free, Paleo, kosher, halal, vegetarian and vegan, and pescatarian. Caterers may need a bit of extra time to do their ordering so a window of about five days is considered fair warning.
- Set your boundaries
Be clear about what you’re willing to pay for and how far you are willing to go to cater for people’s specific needs. Some special menu items are considerably more expensive than standard items so take this into consideration when you’re planning your budget.
- Be clear about serious dietaries with your caterers
If you have a guest who is anaphylactic (ie severely allergic), the caterers need to know so they can ensure that nothing reactive goes anywhere near that person’s meal (this is especially true for nuts and seafood where even a fleck of the offending material can lead to serious illness for the guest).
- Take other considerations into account
Pregnancy is another thing to think about, as are things like the age of the guests (children have more sensitive palates and elderly people are more likely to have dentures). Make sure you always have a range of soft drinks (including a sugar-free option for diabetics) on hand so that non-drinkers are well-catered for.
The Food Adventura team is more than happy to cater for dietaries. Give them a call to discuss your next event today!