If you’re looking for a catering option that is both delicious and gluten-free, you’re in luck! Gluten-free catering and other allergy specific diets are becoming increasingly popular as more people are looking for ways to enjoy delicious food without the worry of gluten-related and allergy-related health issues. Whether you’re hosting a corporate event, a luncheon, or just a party, there are plenty of catering options available that are both delicious and gluten-free.
Gluten-free catering is a great way to accommodate guests with special dietary needs. People with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or other health conditions that require a gluten-free diet can enjoy delicious food without worrying about the effects of gluten. Gluten-free catering can also be a fantastic way to accommodate guests with food allergies or other sensitivities as well. There are millions of people in the US alone that follow a gluten free diet alone, never mind the other sensitivities and allergens that people may suffer from. Many caterers offer a variety of gluten-free and allergy friendly options, including appetizers, entrees, desserts, and more.
It may be hard to keep track of all the allergies and restrictions of your office at first. To help with this, here are some tips and methods to think about when ordering allergen friendly catering for your team.
1. Know who you’re ordering for
When you make a new hire, they are already filling out onboarding paperwork with a whole slew of questions. One tip to know your employees dietary needs better is to incorporate a question getting to know their allergies or dietary preferences right from the start! Especially if you order catering a few times a week or month, you will want to keep a master list that is easy to reference every time you are ordering so you can accommodate everyone's needs, even the new hire! This will also make it easier on yourself too when it comes to holiday party season or quarterly celebrations that require a lot of catering.
2. Make a note of Preferences vs. Allergies
It may seem silly to point out, but an important thing to note is knowing your employees preferences vs serious allergens. You may want to please everyone and accommodate all the latest fads and picky eaters but first, making sure your employees with serious food allergies and restrictions have some food to eat should be the priority.
When it comes to gluten-free catering and a serious allergy, rather than a preference, it is important to choose a caterer who understands the importance of avoiding cross-contamination. Cross-contamination occurs when gluten-containing ingredients come into contact with gluten-free ingredients. This can happen if the same utensils, cutting boards, or other kitchen tools are used for both gluten-containing and gluten-free foods. A good caterer will take steps to avoid cross-contamination, such as using separate utensils and cutting boards for gluten-free foods.
It’s also important to choose a caterer who is familiar with gluten-free ingredients and recipes. Many gluten-free ingredients can be used in place of traditional ingredients, such as gluten-free flour instead of wheat flour. A good caterer will be able to recommend recipes and ingredients that are both delicious and gluten-free but asking your employees for ideas too can help take the guess work out of ordering.
3. Choose “Build Your Own Style” Foods
One of the best ways to accommodate different allergens and preferences is to pick catering options that are customizable or served build-your-own style. Bowls with variations of rice or vegetable bases and a selection of vegan, vegetarian and meat proteins as toppings will usually cover the needs of everyone in your party. Another great option is a salad bar with vegetables, meat and nut toppings that can be added by your employees themselves! Of course, an alternative would be to incorporate some finger foods and appetizers. Mixing in gluten free appetizers is a terrific way to add more sustenance to your main meal and ensure there are plenty of options for everyone.
4. Make Note of the Event type: Meeting or Large Gathering
The size of your event also plays a role in the type of food you serve. For smaller meetings and luncheons it is easier to choose boxed lunches or sandwich platters for everyone to select from. It is also easier to identify your employees with special dietary needs and opt for an individually packaged sandwich or boxed lunch for them as well. But when hosting a large event or your office is packed with dietary restrictions, it is easiest to go with a buffet! Buffet catering allows everyone to choose what they like and are able to eat and allows them to control their portions. This is important for those employees that need to restrict their sugar or carb limits or if they just don’t want to overdo it.
5. Set up the Room with Dietary Restrictions in Mind
To keep your event running smoothly and to minimize dietary friendly questions, you’ll want to keep in mind the setup of the room where you’re serving the food. Lay out the catering in a way that allows everyone to serve themselves and make sure items of the some dietary needs are grouped together. Setting up separate tables, platters or sections for each dietary need is a helpful way to do this. A great caterer will also create labels that describe the ingredients or allergens in each dish and leave them in front of each buffet option. Having more space to work with will make this step much easier but creating tent cards or labels is just as helpful to your guests!
6. Stick with good caterers
Creating relationships with the caterers in your area and ensuring they can accommodate all your dietary needs will help you out further
down the road. They will start to know the needs of your employees and can help you with menu curation and easily send you tent cards so all your guests are aware of what they’re eating. This will be helpful when you need last-minute food orders or need diet specific catering.
If you choose Milk Street Café for your catering needs, we will help with menu curation, tent cards, setup and we offer dietary friendly menus. These include gf menus, vegetarian menus and vegan menus. You can also refer to our master list of allergens for all of our catering options.
Don’t spend hours trying to place catering orders and get diet specific meals to each employee. Follow these helpful tips to make catering a breeze.