Dealing with Diet Demands

Dealing with Diet Demands

Restaurant Business |
Patricia Cobe |
Apr 24, 2019
Original Article: "Dealing with Diet Demands"

Operators are ramping up training to meet customers’ current eating preferences.

A customer walks into a restaurant clutching the Whole30 diet book in her hands. As she looks over the menu, she consults the book to see which items fit the diet’s guidelines. Then she engages the server for help. Is he expected to know enough about the diet to make recommendations?

The answer is yes, according to most full-service operators.

It started with gluten. “We got down and dirty about the ingredients in all our dishes, training servers on the recipes so they would be able to react quickly and pinpoint menu items that were gluten-free,” says Marc Jacobs, executive partner and divisional president of Chicago-based multiconcept operator Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.

When other allergies and sensitivities gained widespread recognition, LEYE created an allergy matrix for every restaurant, highlighting items that met restrictions on soy, shellfish, nuts, etc. and inputting new dishes as they were developed. Fitting menu items into today’s diets is easier than making them gluten-free or nondairy, Jacobs says, but training to meet the different demands is key.

Personalizing the lesson

Jacobs began by trying Whole30, paleo and other current diets himself “to see what guests would need,” he says. This firsthand experience opened up the opportunity to teach the chefs and cooks about the eating plans and work with them on ideas. To get buy-in and have some fun with it, Jacobs has staged competitions among his cooks to create winning diet-friendly dishes.

Preshift meetings proved to be a good venue for front-of-house training. When new dishes are put on the menu, the team gets a list of all the ingredients used—a list they are later tested on. The kitchen also relays how a new or signature item could be tweaked to meet a low-carb or other diet by eliminating an ingredient or substituting something else—an option the FOH staff could pass on to a guest.

Media Contact

Emily Clark pr@leye.com 773-878-7340

You May Also Like...

How To
VIDEO: 5 Ways to Use the LettuceEats App
Jul 18, 2019

We like to think of the LettuceEats app as your own personal restaurant concierge complete with…

read more >
How To
How To Win (2X, 3X, 4X or 5X Points) All Summer Long With Scratch Off
Jul 10, 2019

It's baaaackkkk! Summer Scratch Off is here and available now through September 30, 2019 exclusively…

read more >

Recent Posts

How To
Recipe: The Spritz is the Official Drink of Summer
Jul 19, 2019

Summer means it’s officially spritz season! While this refreshing cocktail has its roots in…

read more >
How To
New Spots to Play Summer Scratch Off in Chicago
Jul 19, 2019

Summer Scratch Off is here and we're giving our Frequent Diner Club Members 88 days to eat, 88 days…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Think Outside the Cone This Summer
Jul 19, 2019

Whether it's swirled soft serve or scoops stacked high, an ice cream cone is pure summer nostalgia.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Happy Hour Gets an Upgrade: Check out Hub 51’s All-New “The Happiest Hour”
Jul 19, 2019

Hub 51 launched a brand new happy hour where guests buy the drinks and the restaurant supplies the…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Best Time of the Year: Patio Season in Chicagoland
Jul 19, 2019

Warm weather is here, which means al fresco dining is too! We've rounded up the best patios at…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat and Drink on the Patio in Las Vegas
Jul 19, 2019

Relax in Las Vegas and people watch on the Strip while al fresco dining! Check out our restaurant…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Dine Al Fresco This Patio Season in the Twin Cities
Jul 19, 2019

In the Twin Cities, you've waited all winter and now it's finally time to take it easy and dine al…

read more >
Openings
Pizzeria Portofino is Now Open on the Chicago River
Jul 19, 2019

Pizzeria Portofino is now open at 317 N. Clark Street, overlooking the Chicago River. From the team…

read more >
In The Restaurants
All New Cocktails Debut at Stella Barra for Your Summer Drinking Pleasure
Jul 19, 2019

Does anything pair better with the first sign of summer than new, refreshing seasonal cocktails? We…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Best Spots for Group Dining
Jul 19, 2019

You finally got the whole crew to agree on the same day and time, now you just have to find the…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour in Chicago
Jul 19, 2019

TGI- (insert day of the week here)! Here are all the happy hour deals available at Lettuce Entertain…

read more >
How To
Play and Win With Summer Scratch Off, Here’s How: Twin Cities
Jul 19, 2019

Summer Scratch Off is here and we're giving our Frequent Diner Club Members in Minnesota 88 days to…

read more >
Lettuce Consulting Group

Grow Your Business

Learn More
Career Opportunities

Join Our Team

Search Jobs
Latest Articles

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign Up Now