ASK THE EXPERT: How Prepared For Guests’ Food Allergies Should We Be?

Our veteran caterer sets us straight.


Q: I know it’s customary to have meat-free dishes on hand at our reception for vegetarian guests, but what about food allergies? Should we be prepared to cater to things like lactose intolerance and nut allergies?

A: This is becoming an issue more and more, says Jeffrey Miller of Philadelphia’s Jeffrey Miller Catering, though it’s certainly something caterers can accommodate—especially with advance warning, which lets them prepare special dishes ahead of time. “For a wedding, we might have on hand 12 vegetarian entrées, one garlic-free meal and two kosher dinners” he says. “The problem arises when we don’t know about a specific allergy until we’re in the middle of serving—at that point, we still do the best we can, but it’s always better to give advance notice.”

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