Should You Cater To Wedding Guests With Food Allergies?

When planning a wedding or other special event, there are plenty of considerations that go into setting the menu. At your wedding reception, you may want to plan several dishes, in case some of your guests don't care for seafood, or are vegetarian. But should couples be prepared to cater to guests with nut allergies, lactose intolerance, and other food allergies?

Caterer Jeffrey Miller, of Jeffrey Miller Catering in Philadelphia, recently answered this question for Philadelphia Wedding. He says that food allergies are becoming more and more of an issue for caterers and others in the food service industry.

Although most caterers can easily accommodate food allergies, especially with advance warning, he explains “The problem arises when we don’t know about a specific allergy until we’re in the middle of serving—at that point, we still do the best we can, but it’s always better to give advance notice.”

It is common to have a limited number of vegetarian entrees on hand, he says, explaining " For a wedding, we might have on hand 12 vegetarian entrées, one garlic-free meal and two kosher dinners." However, it's less common for caterers to be able to make a particular menu item free from a specific food allergen without advance notice. If you know of any food allergies among your guests, advise the caterer of these in advance. It is now becoming more common to ask guests about food allergies during the RSVP process so that they can be accommodated.

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