Dietary Requirements - Where do we Draw the Line?
In the early days of GEMS Event Management, special dietary consisted of a few vegetarian delegates. Vegetarian then expanded to vegan, gluten free and allergies that caused an anaphylactic reaction.
In the interests of health and safety as event organisers, we took these requirements very seriously. Having a daughter who ha
s an anaphylactic reaction to seafood that has caused a number of emergency ward visits, I recognise the risk to some of our delegates is enorm
However, in our attempts to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our delegates, and with our duty of care being at the forefront of our mind, where do we draw the line with dietary ‘preferences’?. The plethora of ‘food preferences’ now being requested from Keto or Paleo to Low Carbohydrate and more, are becoming overwhelming and in some cases,
not being taken seriously by venues.
In the last 12 months, we have started to see an increase in the number of venues who are adding surcharges to their
delegate packages to cover the cost of these requirements. On a regular basis we see venues who now provide delicious food covering the special dietary requirements, only to have plate after plate being returned to the kitchen because the special dietary meals are not as luscious as the chocolate brownie or the freshly baked scones that were also put out for the catering break.
While ensuring that our delegates with medical or religious issues are properly catered for, the long term future of delegate catering will be impacted by the multitud
preferences now being expected by delegates, and ultimately the price will increase or the quality will diminish.
Article Author: Julie McGraw