5 Questions To Ask Gluten-Free Catering Services

Dealing with food restrictions and allergies is a difficult part of event planning. You want your guests happy, healthy, and well-fed. Gluten-free diet restrictions remove many standard ingredients and menu items from a catering menu, but that doesn't mean your guests can't get what they want. Gluten-free catering services provide menus for people suffering from gluten allergies and those who don't want gluten in their diets. You need to ask the catering service a few questions to make sure you're getting what you want, however. 

1. Does the catering service offer full gluten-free menus, or limited choices?

Some catering services have gluten-free substitutes for popular entrees and appetizers, but may not offer a full three or five course meal. If half of your event attendees are gluten-free eaters, you need a full meal plan. If you only have one or two people eating gluten-free, it's easier to provide limited alternatives on the menu instead of reworking the entire food plan. 

2. How do they reduce cross contamination risk?

Some people are highly allergic to gluten, so gluten particles present on the cooking surfaces represents a major risk factor. If you are ordering gluten-free meals for people who simply don't want gluten in their diets, the complete lack of cross-contamination isn't as big of a deal. For those who have a major gluten allergy, the catering company must use a separate kitchen or completely disinfect all cooking equipment when switching to a gluten-free meal. 

3. Do they have full ingredient lists available?

Handling food allergies, especially severe ones, means you need as much information as possible. Getting full ingredient lists ahead of time gives you plenty of opportunities to talk to the dietary restricted guests so you confirm everything is safe to eat.  

4. Does the catering service have significant gluten-free cooking experience?

Talk with the service and find out how many gluten-free meals they've catered. If the catering service is less experienced at handling this type of dietary restriction, you may need to give guidance on ingredient alternatives and safe cooking measures. 

5. What are the costs for gluten-free menus?

Gluten-free alternatives often require specialty ingredients not easily sourced in bulk. If the catering company doesn't frequently provide gluten-free options for its clients, it may also have to go through the time of sourcing these ingredients to begin with. This extra work reflects in a potentially higher cost per plate, so you may get a bigger catering estimate than you originally expected. 

For more information on alternative menu choices when catering an event, talk to a company like Kickapoo Creek Catering