Catering for customers with food allergies is not an easy ask, especially with more than 250 food allergens having been identified. While this may seem tough on your kitchen, putting in that extra effort to meet a customer’s need is a sure-fire way to build their loyalty to your café.
Remember, customers with food allergies are looking for a place where they can confidently eat without the fear of falling ill. They need to feel confident with your café’s food safety protocol.
Ensuring your restaurant is allergy friendly means keeping your kitchen informed. While this can seem difficult at first, with proper procedures in place and careful training, you can protect guests and increase your business. Because, not only are allergy-friendly cafés safer places to eat, they often build an intensely loyal base of guests.
Here are a few steps you can take toward making your café allergy friendly:
- Nominate allergy ‘go-to’ staff – appoint a few members of your staff to be responsible for answering all allergen-related queries.
- Regularly keep a tab on ingredients – be aware of all possible allergens in products that you regularly use, as manufacturers can sometimes change ingredients without warning.
- Display disclaimers – print a note at the bottom of your menu and website reminding customers to inform your staff about any allergies they may have. Also make sure you keep brochures and menus up-to-date so your communication is 100% accurate.
- Avoid cross-contact – always keep allergy-causing food and safe food separate to avoid contamination. Even the adulteration can cause a major allergic reaction.
- Don’t hesitate to call for help – while protecting the reputation of your café will be a priority, it is important to remember that if a diner has an allergic reaction you should not be afraid to call an ambulance.
Here’s some food for thought: