Catering for guests with dietary needs can be a difficult, yet necessary task for for any caterer or meeting planner. Keep guest satisfaction (and safety!) at the top of your priority list to make your event a success. Some common dietary restrictions we see at the Georgia International Convention Center are:

  • Food allergies (peanuts, shellfish)
  • Intolerances (gluten-free diets)
  • Religious restrictions (certified kosher meals)
  • Lifestyle choices (veganism, vegetarianism)

Whether allergies, lifestyle choices or religious beliefs limit menu options for attendees, consider accommodating every attendee’s needs with the options below.

Plan as Far in Advance as Possible
Easily account for attendees’ dietary needs by including an initial questionnaire with registration. This way, you’ll have all of the attendees’ preferences on file with only one point of communication. With this knowledge early in the planning process, you’ll have the ability to consider any restrictions while planning the meeting’s catering menu.

Make Needs Clear with Your Caterer

When discussing meal options with your caterer, be sure to touch on dietary needs and restrictions whether the information from your attendees is available to you or not. Most caterers will have standard replacements for most popular items and should be familiar with common dietary restrictions.

Give Attendees a Choice

At the event, give your attendees the freedom to choose their meal. Providing both a meat and a vegetarian option, for example, will allow most attendees to find a selection they are happy with (whether they have specific dietary needs or not).

Have a Backup Plan

If you do not have access to the preferences or intolerances of your guests prior to solidifying the catering menu, it is advisable to have a number of meals set aside for guests with special dietary needs. Setting aside additional ingredients and menu possibilities, you can reduce your event-day stress by knowing attendees have additional options if needed.

Follow these tips to make sure no attendee goes hungry!

Questions? Tweet us at @TheGICC.


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