“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” ~ John Lydgate
Which begs the question:
What should you do if you are hosting guests with dietary restrictions?
Even under the best of circumstances, planning a menu can be challenging. Consequently, a good host should always consider if guests have:
- a life-threatening allergy
- an ethical or religious conviction that prohibits them from eating certain foods
- gluten (or other) food sensitivities
The responsibilities around dietary restrictions may seem complex, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. All that is required is a coordinated effort. Here is a simplified guide:
If You’re the Host
- Don’t be shy. Ask guests ahead of time if they have dietary restrictions.
- Make them feel welcomed. While it is not necessary to prepare multiple entrées, consider including one or two side dishes.
- Avoid serving foods that include commonly known allergies such as peanuts and shellfish.
If You’re the Guest
- If your food restrictions are serious, it is your responsibility to communicate to the host in a timely fashion.
- Be flexible and respectful of the menu options presented, especially if the host has gone out of their way to accommodate your needs.
- Always ask if you can bring a dish (more than likely, your host will appreciate and welcome the gesture).
PRO-TIP: As a host, always put the guest’s needs first. As a guest, always be understanding, flexible, and never demanding.