As promised… Once we have been seated for dinner, and have a menu in hand, I like to have a glance and see what food they are serving. I have accepted that when I eat out at a restaurant, I may not always end up with a fancy dish like everyone else. To be honest, I have only ever had 3 meals where they did not have to make ANY substitutions to the dish mentioned on the menu! And those 3 occasions made me insanely happy!
I usually have a card, or piece of paper on me with my allergies written down. That way I can hand it to the waiter or waitress when they come by our table. I always mention my allergies first, then mention what I was thinking of having, and provide some other alternatives. I make sure the waiter/waitress understands how serious my allergies are and ask that they confirm with the kitchen and let me know, before ordering the meal. This way I feel like they have paid attention to my inquiries.
It is EXTREMELY important to be very clear and calm when dealing with the staff. You want to make sure they don’t feel annoyed with you. the clearer and simpler you make your “allergy speech” to them, the better!
If I have not yet spoken with the manager of the restaurant, or head chef, I usually say something along the lines of…
” Before I order, I have several SEVERE food allergies. I was hoping you might be able to discuss this with the chef. I am extremely allergic to; Peanuts, Nuts, Soy, Lentils. I am also sensitive to dairy and wheat. I was wondering if I might be able to have the salmon, cooked in a pan … ”
Through my own personal experience, I have learned that most are very supportive and willing to accommodate and make sure you have a SAFE meal. I have been very fortunate because most places I have eaten at, they have had the chef come out to speak with me so I have felt a lot safer.
And at the end of the meal, I always make sure I give the waiter/waitress a good tip if they have really taken good precautions to ensure I was able to have a safe meal, because you want them to feel appreciated and it’s a simple gesture considering they kept you healthy. They will feel good and you will leave with a smile too! So it is a Win-Win situation all around!