In the restaurant industry, we have a real problem with how we manage issues of food allergies for our guests.
We have frequently commented on The Rail about the importance of being organized or ways to avoid errors that might cause a guest harm. With the enormous mind share that managing allergies demands, you would think some huge percentage of guests bring their allergy concerns to our restaurants. The truth, however, is far more complicated. As the following infographic from Statista clearly indicates, the number of people that have allergies is much lower than it feels to us.
In fact, only 1 in 25 people have an attributable allergy. And woman are almost twice as likely than men to suffer from food allergies. This doesn’t dismiss any responsibility we have as operators to ensure the safety of all guests from foods they don’t want to consume, whether by allergy or just distaste.
It does, however, bring into perspective the scale of the problem. With only about 4.2% of guests suffering, you can take solace that the issue is manageable and fairly contained.
Unfortunately, these stats don’t tell us if there are other factors involved -- like regional allergy issues that might impact the number of affected guests you serve. It is always a good idea to query guests in advance about their dietary restrictions. A simply query by a server or bartender reminds both the guest and the person asking that this is a serious issue that merits everyone’s care and attention.
None other than the celebrity chef, Ming Tsai, has developed a simple way to both train staff and respond professionally to guest allergy circumstances. By following his simple method of recipe posting and reference building, you can effectively eliminate any issues with allergy sufferers.
So, even though only 1 in 25 suffer, you can be sure that 0 in 25 impacted because of something your restaurant did.