Did you know that nearly 15 million Americans – including one in every 10 children – are affected by some form of food allergies? And even though 58 percent of Americans dine out at least once a week, less than half of restaurants are properly training their employees how to serve diners with food allergies.
Restaurant owners and managers who take the steps to ensure diners safely enjoy meals can benefit from increased revenue, higher customer satisfaction and a better restaurant experience. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, eight specific food allergens account for 90 percent of allergic reactions. These allergens often hide in plain sight and can be found in dishes some employees or customers wouldn’t expect:
Hot dogs, salad dressing and shellfish
Ice cream, root beer and candy
Spaghetti sauce, chili and graham cracker crust used for pies and cakes
Barbecue sauce, flavored coffee (e.g., hazelnut) and frozen desserts
Potato chips, rice cakes and beer-battered foods
Vodka, chicken nuggets, reduced-fat peanut butter and hot chocolate
Worcestershire sauce, meatloaf and Caesar salad dressing
Fish stock, sea food flavoring and bouillabaisse
Feel overwhelmed by this list? You shouldn’t. In fact, adjusting your restaurant practices to cater to diners with food allergies doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. Following are several tips for both front- and back-of- house staff to keep diners safe.
To learn more about common food allergens and best practices to keep diners safe, download GrubHub’s latest whitepaper.