Free meals are among employees’ favorite on-the-job perks; however, food allergies are on the rise and many people opt to avoid certain ingredients for health or religious reasons.

As you’re planning workplace meals, here are some important tips to accommodate dietary restrictions while creating a good experience for everyone.

1. Send out a questionnaire

Ask about employees’ food restrictions—that way, you know what to avoid when ordering food.

Keep in mind that some people might be uncomfortable revealing private health information. The same goes for people who follow a specific diet prescribed by their church.

To help, you can make the survey optional or create an anonymous form to protect workers’ privacy.

2. Aim for variety

When choosing a menu for a larger event when you’re not aware of every food limitation, include a wide variety of options.

Your goal is to accommodate as many people as possible. Common restrictions include:

1. Gluten-free

2. Nut-free

3. Vegan/vegetarian

4. Dairy-free

5. Low-carbohydrate

6. Shellfish-free

7. Kosher

8. Halal

You don’t need to make separate dishes for each one, of course—a vegetarian dish might also be gluten-free and halal. Just make sure to mark each item with the appropriate labels to help everyone find an option.

3. Include ingredient lists

One of the best ways to accommodate employees with dietary restrictions is to provide a list of ingredients for every dish you serve.

Include oils and seasonings; if something is cooked in peanut oil, for example, an employee with a nut allergy needs to be aware. Employees can scan the list in advance to avoid any unpleasant reactions.

Restaurants are usually happy to work with you to provide these lists, especially if you give them ample notice. After all, they’re accustomed to serving people with a wide range of preferences and health needs.

4. Ask for feedback

Things can go wrong, even when you communicate clearly about office meals. To make sure employees feel supported and included, encourage them to give feedback.

They’re the ones best positioned to suggest helpful accommodations—and by making a good-faith effort to provide what they need, you can show how invested you are in their health and happiness.

This is another situation that benefits from an anonymous communication option. It ensures that everyone, even brand-new employees and junior-level workers, can ask for what they need in a way that feels safe.

5. Allow employees to choose their own meals

People with allergies and intolerances, especially life-threatening ones, are accustomed to being vigilant about their food.

One way to help them feel confident and comfortable is to allow each person to pick their own meal. That way, they can examine the menu personally and choose a dish that meets their needs.

With Grubhub Corporate Accounts, this process is quick and easy. Simply choose from a few methods:

1. Meal Credits. Provide both in-office and remote employees with a budget to order on Grubhub with, set budget limits and rules, then they can order exactly what they want.

2. Group Order. Invite your team to order from a restaurant with one shared checkout, one delivery fee. Unlike catering, everyone gets to choose the meal they want within the budget you allocated and everything is delivered together.

3. Scheduled Team Order. Provide even more variety and safety for dietary restrictions by inviting your team to order from multiple restaurants. Orders arrive individually bagged and labeled to ensure everyone’s orders are separate.

You can also place catering orders through the Grubhub platform. No matter which option you select, you can choose from a wide range of local restaurants—and even better, they’re simple to set up and all orders go onto one invoice for easy accounting.

Is your business in need of a streamlined corporate ordering solution? Learn more about Grubhub Corporate Accounts.