Eating at a restaurant with your friends and family when you have dietary restrictions or allergies can be both tricky and more than a little risky. Thankfully, there are a few precautions that you can take that will allow you to enjoy a meal at local places to eat with your friends and family.
Let The Restaurant Know Ahead Of Time
Letting the restaurant know ahead of time, such as when you are making a reservation, that you have dietary restrictions is one of the best ways to protect yourself when eating out when you have allergies or some other type of dietary restriction. This is because the restaurant will be able to take whatever precautions they need before you actually get there and will be able to let the kitchen staff prepare accordingly in order to accommodate your dietary restrictions. In many cases, once you provide this information, you may actually show up to the restaurant and have one of the kitchen staff or the host approach you in order to get more detailed information about your restrictions so that it can be passed on to the kitchen to make absolutely sure that you can eat safely.
Ask The Restaurant What Precautions They Take
Another precaution to take when eating out with dietary restrictions is to call the restaurant and ask what precautions they take in order to ensure that people with dietary restrictions can eat safely. This is very important because, based on the severity of your allergies, you may need to go to a restaurant that has completely separate cooking surfaces and cookware for individuals with dietary restrictions. In that situation, if the restaurant cannot accommodate this level of separation in order to avoid cross-contamination, you will know ahead of time and can simply choose to go to a different restaurant.
Avoid Going During The Restaurant's Rush Hours
Finally, one of the easiest ways to protect yourself when going to a restaurant with dietary restrictions is to avoid going during the restaurant's rush hours. The reason for this is that when the restaurant is full and extremely busy, the odds that someone in the kitchen may make a mistake or miss the note that you have dietary restrictions will go up quite a bit, which makes sense when you consider that during rush hour the restaurant employees are going to have a lot on their hands. However, if you go during those times of the day when the restaurant is a bit less busy, the restaurant staff will have more time to absolutely ensure that your food is prepared properly and with your dietary restrictions in mind.
Having dietary restrictions does not mean that you will have to forgo eating out at a restaurant and enjoying that activity with those closest to you. Letting the restaurant know ahead of time about your dietary restrictions, asking the restaurant what precautions they take, and avoiding going during the restaurant's rush hours are all effective ways of ensuring that you can safely eat at a restaurant with your loved ones.