Event planning involves many details and check lists and although it may seem like a simple request to label food on a buffet, it is not common practice at every hotel.  With global guests in attendance some may have allergy, dietary or religious restrictions. It is prudent to request all food labeled at functions that are to be served buffet style.  A short list of labels to request are:

  • Dairy Free
  • Egg Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Nut Free
  • Organic
  • Sugar Free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Sugar Free

Safety depends upon you as the meeting planner to communicate specific menu planning needs with your conference services manager and banquet captain.  You’ll want to be sure all of the participants can eat and enjoy a variety of foods while keeping them out of harm’s way.

The entire catering staff, which includes everyone handling your menus from conference services to the banquet chef, the kitchen staff to the wait staff, have training and protocols in place for accommodating special food requests and processes for dealing with emergencies.

When sending out meeting announcements and receiving confirmation of attendance at the event you are planning, ask each person about their food restrictions/allergies to prepare the hotel staff in advance of arrival about exact must haves.  

Although hotels are equipped to handle many types of emergencies and accustomed to these sort of potential situations, it is good to know in advance the name and location of the closest hospital and whether or not the hotel has a doctor service on call.  Anyone with food allergies typically travel prepared with medications, but when a crisis sets in, time may be limited and getting immediate help can be the saving grace.