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3 Ideas on How to Handle Religious Dietary Restrictions

2015-02-10

Wondering how to accommodate religious dietary restrictions at your next event? We have a plan for you!

The amount of religious dietary restrictions can be mind-boggling, and there is just no guarantee that you can get it exactly right when hosting an event. From year round restrictions to special days that require excluding certain items, it’s a lot of information to keep straight.

Instead of inadvertently offending an attendee or leaving someone hungry, you can take steps to make it work.


Avoid Religious Holidays


There is just nothing worse than fasting for religious reasons and being surrounded by food... glorious, delicious food. Your attendees will be grumpy from the fast and from staring at whatever you are serving. That does not add up to anything positive word-of-mouth from the attendees affected.


By working with a convention and visitors bureau (like us!), you can have a partner that looks out for the best days to host your meeting. And that includes looking out for religious holidays that could affect your attendees. Because, in addition to the dietary restrictions, there is a good chance those attendees will want to spend the holiday home with their families. To make sure that doesn’t happen, check with us about the best days to host your next event.


Use a Caterer that Can Provide Special Services


Know that a certain religion is going to be represented at your conference? Then plan on booking a caterer that knows how to prepare for any known dietary restrictions.


Take, for example, the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati. In addition to some inviting meeting rooms, the Hyatt Regency team is well-equipped to help with any event that requires Kosher meals. The catering staff has taken the time to learn the dietary restrictions that go into serving Kosher cuisine and can help ensure that everyone at your event gets happily fed with very little fuss.


Do a buffet with a large variety


If you are worried that you might be in a no-win situation, then it’s time to really evaluate what your attendees need. A served meal may sound like a great idea to welcome your guests, but if you are dealing with competing dietary restrictions, it may not be reasonable.


Consider working with a caterer on a buffet that can provide a little bit for every taste and need of your attendees. A caterer, like Vonderhaar’s Catering, has an almost endless amount of menu items that can be customized for your needs. You may want to even investigate tasting stations that can give your attendees a few more choices and at the same time, get them moving around the room.


Image via Vonderhaar's Catering.