Information on allergens has been an obligation for the industry and catering since 2015 but is not yet fully respected in practice. A public health concern for all allergic and intolerant profiles. And for restaurants…
Getting information is difficult for allergic profiles
For allergic and intolerant profiles, the menus at some restaurants can be a real headache. They have dishes with names like “Pasta with vegetables and homemade sauce” that mean a client hypersensitive to allergens will have to ask some questions first. Vegetables, right… does that include celery? And is there mustard in the sauce?
When nothing is explained on the menu, an allergic or intolerant client will have to ask a whole series of questions before choosing what dish to order. A waste of time for everyone.
And yet, since the end of 2015, European legislation has required that the presence of one or more of the 14 allergens required for declaration in recipes be communicated in restaurants.
In reality, not everyone in the food industry is in conformance with the legislation. Take a look at your favorite restaurant’s menu and guess which dish you should avoid if, say, you were allergic to soy. It’s not easy.
These clients with constraints: an annoyance or a challenge?
We use the term describing people with “constraints” to refer to allergic or intolerant profiles, diabetics or those who maintain a vegan diet. As a restaurateur, you shouldn’t minimize these situations. People who are allergic or intolerant aren’t just being picky. The restrictions that they have to impose on themselves are for their health and their life could depend on it!
Aside from health requirements, some clients want to follow a certain lifestyle (vegetarian, vegan, halal). It’s up to you as the restaurateur to respect them and to adapt by offering recipes that meet their needs.
Those with allergic or intolerant profiles represent between 6 and 9 million people in France. Vegans make up 2% of the population. Some clients have multiple constraints. Which motivates chefs to do what’s necessary to attract these clients to their restaurant.
A single strategy: adapt to all of your restaurant’s nutritional profiles
As a food supplier, you should become aware of your vital responsibility and, above all, educate yourself. The more that you know, the more your clients with allergic profiles will feel comfortable. Do you know the 14 allergens that require declaration?
Then make your food information easily accessible. For example, use colored dots to indicate recipes that contain specific allergens.
Finally, it’s easy for you to modify or invent recipes to make them as tolerant as possible if you use a software like Youmeal to adapt your offering.
What restaurant do we go to if we have an allergic or intolerant profile?
As a client with constraints or allergic profiles, you can sometimes spend up to 10 minutes questioning the waiter or waitress about the ingredients in a dish that you want to order. Sometimes you get the response you need and sometimes not… so then you have to order the back-up dish that you didn’t want, but of which you are certain the composition. Better safe than sorry.
If a cook does not know how to tell you what’s in his recipe, do you think it’s likely that he used industrial preparations…
Since you have the power to choose who you trust, opt for restaurants that:
- indicate the allergens and intolerances on their menu
- work with fresh products
- employs staff that can give you information about the content of recipes
But how do you know which restaurants actually have this? Initially, you would create a short list for yourself of restaurants where you could go. The disadvantage to this is that it limits you to what you already know.
Luckily, there are apps made just for you. Including one developed by Avec Plaisir, who created the first website and mobile app of places without allergen(s) that’s intended for people with dietary constraints.
How Food Tech is helping those with allergies and intolerances
Youmeal has entered into a partnership with the start-up Avec Plaisir. They are complementary and guide restaurants in their allergen information obligation.
And they develop high added value tech tools in the field of food information for both restaurateurs and their client.
Restaurant owners are better able to commit to a “kitchen for all” and positive and transparent communication with this dedicated focus.
Youmeal and Avec Plaisir will be at the Salon Food Hotel Tech in Paris on March 18 and 19, 2019, to showcase their technological solutions that address the issue of food allergies and allergen management.
Make an appointment with Youmeal, the recipe management tool with the most advanced nutritional and environmental information. Youmeal and Avec Plaisir would like to offer you a free access pass. We’ll be at the F3 stand.