Booking Events For Groups with Dietary Restrictions
Booking for groups can be challenging. You want to please everyone but everyone has different tastes and preferences. Throw a few dietary restrictions in the mix and the process can turn into your least favorite item on your to-do list. Not because you don't want to do it but because it can be overwhelming to find a place that will accommodate everyone and provide them with food they will enjoy. Below are a few tips and tricks forbooking events for groups with dietary restrictions.
1. Ask before you sign.
During the process of finding a venue, one of the first questions you should ask the venue manager is if they are able to accommodate the specific dietary restrictions you are working with. If their answer seems a bit shaky or lacking in certainty, ask them to provide you with example dishes they have provided for individuals with those restrictions. If they can't do that - move onto the next venue.
Another reason this is important is because the worst possible thing you can do is go through the long process of booking an event, sign the contract, send back the credit card authorization form and get close to the date of the event, only to figure out that they do not accommodate dietary restrictions, forcing you to rush to find another venue. Your time is too precious to waste!
2. Ask for guidance.
It takes a great deal of pressure off of you if you ask the person with the dietary restriction to give you examples of dishes they enjoy prior to the event taking place. Once you have a response from them with a few ideas, you can forward that list to the venue manager so that they can work with the chef to provide something similar.
3. Make sure everything is clear and in writing.
Just because the venue manager said "yes we accommodate" and "yes I got your email with the suggestions" it is better to make sure you have everything in writing and agreed upon by the restaurant. It is important to have dietary restrictions and dish preferences listed on your contract so that there is no guessing about what was agreed upon.
4. Ask for feedback.
After your guests have had their event, reach out to them and ask for feedback. A simple "how was your (insert dietary restriction) meal?" email is a nice way to get feedback directly from the guest.
5. Keep a list.
After you get feedback from guests, and assuming it is positive, add that venue to a list and keep it somewhere handy (I recommend creating a contact for "Venues that Accommodate"). This is an easy way for you to create a reference for what restaurants worked well for your groups.
-The Team at VenueBook
For a few of our favorite NYC vegetarian restaurants you should read this post.