Special dietary requests from customers are on the rise — whether for vegan alternatives or because of allergies to wheat, gluten, dairy or soy. One diner may ask for Hollandaise without the butter; another for the tart to be gluten free, so you need to be prepared and not let special requests mess with the smooth running of your kitchen.
While chefs will usually bend over backward to accommodate their customers' dietary needs, it can be frustrating when it jeopardizes the integrity of a carefully thought-out dish. But if you want to be an allergy-friendly restaurant and cater to ethical consumers too, then you'll have to step up — creating lactose-free, gluten-free and plant-based dishes to cater for a roomful of different tastes. See it as a smart move rather than an obstacle and adapt your recipes so that they have the flexibility to cope.
Start with Strong Foundations
How about rethinking your approach to designing a dish? See it as a collection of different components, with the base of the dish being suitable for all customers — vegan, dairy and gluten-free. So, rather than creating a separate dish from scratch for each customer, prepare high-quality components such as sauces and vegetable bases that are suitable for all and use these as the building blocks of your finished dish. This way, you can deliver consistently high-quality food without compromising your standards.
Our new series of videos, created by chefs for chefs, will show you how to find solutions that will keep everyone happy.