What to ask at a restaurant/resort.

Apr 17

When you visit a restaurant or on vacation at a resort do you go into detail with the staff regarding the menu and allergy practice in the kitchen? There are many ways to go about getting the ‘good feeling’ about a restaurant from just going on a recommendation and eating there (McDonalds used to be this way) or giving the manager/head-chef the third degree. 

We have come up with some standard questions we like to ask. Sometimes we feel the need to ask them all, sometimes we are satisfied if the management has a strong grasp without the need to ask all the questions.

It is especially wonderful when a staff member offers to give you a tour of a buffet or the menu outlining what is safe and what to stay away from. When someone suggests to stay away from something I also like to ask about the preparation of that dish, if it is prepared separately and safely from the safe dishes.

Do you have a standard list of questions different from what we have below?

The List:

  • Do any foods prepared here contain nuts/peanuts or traces or nuts/peanuts
  • Of the meals that include sauces, can they be left out or be on the side in a separate dish?
  • are any sauces or mixes supplied from outside sources or is everything prepared on site?
  • Are dishes containing nuts/peanuts prepared and stored separately?
  • Do you take precautions against cross-contamination so that the prep area is clear of nuts/peanuts?
  • Do you clean areas and utensils, pots etc. when preparing a dish for someone with nuts/peanut allergies?
  • Are the staff allergy aware? Do they know to make sure their hands are clean or gloves are worn when preparing or handling dishes for allergic patrons?

BONUS Question:
Would you allow someone to visit the kitchen to allow them to ensure a safe environment?