How to Handle Dietary Preferences at Corporate Meetings

special dietary needs corporate meetings

How to Handle Dietary Preferences at Corporate Meetings


One of our Senior Project Managers recently participated in a webinar regarding food allergies and dietary preferences at corporate meetings.  One standout lesson was that in addition to the standards preferences, i.e. gluten, lactose, vegan, vegetarian, shellfish, there are a number of new labels for food preferences.  Have you ever heard the label “reducetarian”?   Reducetarians are committed to eating less animal protein – red meat, poultry, seafood, fewer eggs and dairy.

It is no longer a random few.  Our attendees lists include up to 30% requesting special dietary considerations for group meals.  The challenge to keep up with these numbers has been met and embraced by Executive Chefs who are creating and implementing special allergy/dietary preference programs in their hotels and restaurants.

The webinar, hosted by Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC, CFPM, included some great information. The strongest takeaways being:

  • Include your request for accommodating dietary preferences during sourcing.  In the RFP process, ask specific questions directed to the culinary team and carefully review the responses.
  • Request to meet culinary staff on the site visit and, once again, review the hotel’s policy on dietary preferences.
  • Add “mocktails” to your reception menus to allow guests to enjoy a fun, tasty non-alcoholic drink.  This drink does not necessarily need to be sugary and full of calories.  Create a low-calorie mocktail using flavored seltzer, pressed juices, and herbs like basil or mint.

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