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National Restaurant Association - Food allergy conference on tap for restaurateurs

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Food allergy conference on tap for restaurateurs

In an effort to better educate restaurant operators on how to serve customers with food allergies, AllergyEats will host its inaugural Food Allergy Conference for Restaurateurs Oct. 16 at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center in Boston.

Peter Christie, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association will open the event with an introductory speech. Other speakers include Rich Vallente, corporate executive chef for Legal Sea Foods, and Jimmy O'Brien of Jake's Seafood Restaurant and Market.

Additionally, a series of panel discussions will focus on:

the fundamentals and realities of accommodating food-allergic guests;

best practices of restaurants that excel at accommodating food-allergic guests;

basic training in executing food allergy protocols; and

how restaurants can make more money by becoming allergy friendly.

Christie said the conference is a good way for restaurant operators to learn more about food allergies and how to offer guests a safe and enjoyable dining experience.

"Every restaurateur wants to accommodate his or her guests and ensure they have a healthy, good experience in his or her restaurant," Christie said. "The only way guests can feel safe is if the restaurant's staff understands the potential for danger that exists and how to deal with it. It's kind of like food safety - you can never know too much."

Paul Antico, founder and CEO of AllergyEats, agreed with Christie, saying the conference is a good way for restaurateurs to get a primer in serving food-allergic customers that will not only benefit the guest, but the business as well.

"We really think this is important and that restaurateurs will get a lot out of it," Antico said. "Our goal is to have everyone who attends come out thinking he or she can easily ensure their guests' safety. They should all say, ‘I can do this; it's easy and the right thing to do."

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