Planning Your Catering Menu For Food Restrictions At Your Event

Catering Menu Options - Hors D'oeuvres In Glasses

Great catering is a key element to pulling off a successful event, whether it’s a wedding reception, party, or corporate event. Your guests will be expecting an amazing catering menu, and they’ll be looking to you to make sure it’s there.

However, these days, it’s nearly impossible to get even a small group of guests together without having to worry about some allergies, sensitivities, and preferences in food. Many people suffer from gluten allergies and will literally get sick if they have any of it. Some are religious and can’t eat certain foods during certain times, and others don’t eat anything that is produced by an animal at all.

banquet hall

As an event organizer, you may wonder how much or how little you should accommodate these needs. These days, it takes a lot more than getting rid of a bowl of peanuts and offering a salad.

What can you do to maximize the happiness of your guests and consider those with sensitivities? Here are some best practices from Platinum Banquet Hall to follow as you prepare your event food catering menu.

Gluten-Free, Vegan, And Veggie Catering

Gluten is a general term for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. Generally speaking, gluten can be found in most breads, pastas, and baked goods. Those who can’t eat gluten typically stick to an almost back-to-basics diet which is heavy in protein—things like chicken and fresh vegetables. To accommodate gluten-free diets you’ll need to include some options, and be sure that your caterer double-checks all the ingredients in their recipes.

How To Accommodate Special Food Needs At Your Wedding Reception

Every event will have at least a handful of vegan guests. Because of this, it’s very important that your caterer is able to prepare vegan options for them which include no ingredients that come from animals (including dairy and cheese). Vegetarians can eat vegan food, but they may enjoy adding cheese into their food, so it’s considerate to have both vegan and vegetarian options in your catering menu.

Ask For Food Restrictions In RSVPs

RSVPs are the ideal place to figure out what food restrictions you’re going to be dealing with. This gives everyone the opportunity to clearly state what they cannot eat so that you can plan accordingly with your caterer. Even if you thought you had already planned the catering menu perfectly, knowing this information may make you aware of someone’s food restriction that you didn’t know about.

Food Assembly May Be The Way To Go

When you’re planning an event and trying to deal with a wide variety of food restrictions, one smart way to tackle it is to have food stations or a bar where your guests can build their own plate. This can mean a salad bar, taco bar, baked potato bar, etc. Allowing guests to assemble their own food and include only what they want to (or can) eat is a wise option. Assembly-style food may not feel as upscale as what you’d prefer as the event planner, but it is worth considering if you have a lot of finicky eaters.

Want catering menu tips? Watch the video below: 

Label Everything

Once you have the catering menu worked out, it’s very important to work with your caterer to make sure that everything—and we do mean everything—is labelled. These labels can look visually stunning, but they need to be there. Your guests knowing what’s in the food they’re eating, or they may become sick. These labels need to say things like “Contains Wheat”, “Contains Soy”, “Contains Meat”, “Contains Dairy”, etc., or they need to simply say “Vegan-Friendly”, “Gluten-Free”, “Vegetarian”, etc.

If you’re currently planning an event and you’re searching for the perfect Los Angeles event venue, consider Platinum Banquet Hall. We have a beautiful space, exceptional accommodations, and five-star service that make any event stand out. We also offer expert catering services able to accommodate any special requests that you have. For more info on booking and availability, contact Platinum Banquet Hall!