Event Planning and Dietary Restrictions | Advice From a Caterer

Gluten, Dairy, Shellfish & Kosher

Most of us have a friend or family member with a food allergy or dietary restriction similar to these. How do you handle this common occurrence at your special event? We have a few tips to share on how to make this inevitable issue easy to handle.


It should go without saying that a good caterer should be capable, and willing, to accommodate the dietary needs of all of your guests. None of your guests dining experience should suffer because your caterer is not willing to be flexible.

That being said, you cannot expect your caterer to whip up a meal for your friend who cannot eat gluten if you did not warn the catering team ahead of time! Additionally, you may find that a fair amount of caterers do not provide kosher meals because they require a lot of investment to prepare correctly, such as an entire kosher kitchen. It is possible for your caterer to subcontract a kosher meal if you do need to accommodate a few guests, make sure to ask your caterer if they can do this!


It is important to check with your guests ahead of time to see if they have any dietary restrictions. If you are hosting a wedding, you may not know this information until you receive your menu and RSVP cards – be sure to update your caterer at that point. It is fairly hard to accommodate a guest the day of the event so make sure to get ahead of this.


You want to be able to provide your guests who have dietary restrictions with a comparable meal to the featured meal. If you know a handful of guests are not going to be able to eat anything with gluten, you need to be ready to offer an option they can eat, but that will also appeal to guests who could eat the other options. Work with the caterer to come up with a solution that will not make your guest(s) feel like they are getting the short end of the stick – their dining experience should not suffer because of this.

People are more in tune with what their bodies can and cannot tolerate – be mindful of this, and you will have no trouble accommodating all of your friends and family members’ needs.


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