Tips for Choosing Restaurants When Your Party Has Different Dietary Requirements

Going out to eat is one of the most common ways to spend time with people, and it can lead to some truly meaningful experiences. For friends, family, and even newly met people alike, eating out is a time to catch up, ask questions, and even get to know each other.

Eating out is an easy activity, usually suggested under the guise of “Everyone needs to eat,” but the actual occasion doesn’t always go so smoothly. Especially when you have a large party of people, eating out together can be challenging for many reasons, one of which being a lot of people have dietary restrictions.

Whether this be due to any allergies, religious reasons, personal preference, or more, you should always be understanding of how others eat and know ahead of time how to plan accordingly.

Find out the Dietary Restrictions First

Before anything, communicate with each of your guests directly (and privately) to understand exactly what restrictions need to be met. If they are at all hesitant to discuss it with you, do not press it – just tell them what restaurants you were considering dining at and ask if those would be appropriate for their needs.

Again, everyone has their own routine and conditions for eating, which can easily be personal matters, so respect what they may have to say when you approach them on the matter.

Put in the Required Research Ahead of Time

It goes without saying that taking your vegan friend to get barbeque is not the brightest of ideas (unless it is a new, fun barbeque place that grills fruits and vegetables, too). Putting in the research to know about a restaurant’s menu, diet-meeting abilities, and more, is vital to shaping a safe environment in which you know your friends, family, or business partners can eat without concern.

Use the Resources at Your Fingertips

The internet is rife with resources, including for finding restaurants that accommodate dietary restrictions. Occasionally, you will come across apps or websites that make finding restaurants extremely easy, including but not limited to a HMC Halal Restaurant that caters to the needs of those who only eat that fully halal meals.

Just a little bit of time spent researching makes everyone’s job so much easier because the needs of the situation are already being completely taken into account, and you do not need to worry even half as much.

Communicate with the Restaurants Directly

Most restaurants (or the ones you will want to dine in) are extremely accessible either on the internet or through the phone. Calling the establishment personally is a great way to get direct information about what food is served, what conditions can be met, and what guidelines they follow for standard cooking protocol at their restaurant (i.e what ingredients share stoves together, what foods can be cross-contaminated, etc.)

If you have a party with you, chances are you will be needing to make a reservation at the restaurant in question anyway, so if you receive the information you were looking for, you already have the “in” to schedule the reservation and—voilĂ —you need not do any more until the reservation itself. By then, it should just be kick back, relax, and enjoy the company.

Final Considerations…

It is of the most basic etiquette that dinner guests always feel welcome and comfortable eating what they are served, and that goes for dining in restaurants as much as it does dining in someone’s home. If you are arranging for a group to eat out at a restaurant, follow the tips above to ensure that no one will feel left out, uncomfortable, or go home hungry.

Eating together is a tradition that exemplifies unity and compassion across cultures and history. It is how holidays, reunions, birthdays, and more are all often spent. Because of this, make sure you put your best effort forward in honoring your guests.

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