Whether it’s a special occasion or a Saturday night, for many Americans, dining out is one of life’s great pleasures. Dining out with food intolerances or an allergy doesn’t have to put a damper on those experiences. With information and a plan, you can make sure you have a safe, fun, and delicious dining experience.
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Here are 5 tips to help alleviate those worries and just enjoy yourself!
- Check the menu in advance. Restaurant websites are also becoming useful tools in preparing for dining out as many restaurants are sharing their menus and allergen information online.
- Call Ahead. These days, restaurants are more than accommodating when it comes to allergies or intolerances. Discuss your concerns with the chef or manager to ask about the menu and food preparation. Knowing what’s available ahead of time can help relieve the stress and anxiety that can be associated with dining out.
- Be vocal about your allergies or intolerances ASAP. If your unable to communicate with either the chef or person in charge before you get to the restaurant, be sure to let your server know as soon as you are seated and given a menu. Go over your dish, ingredients, preparation and issues of cross contact. If the restaurant staff communicates that they feel confident about serving you, then place your order.
- Reward excellent customer service. Finally, don’t forget to tip your server well for providing an excellent dining experience. You have special requests and expectations and should reward the server for being attentive to them.
- Consider chain restaurants. When all else fails, this is especially helpful when you’re traveling. Each restaurant is likely to use the same ingredients and prepare foods the same way, and a growing number are very allergy-aware.