When you're newly diagnosed by a doctor as having a food allergy, there will be lots of people in your life who tell you that you need to avoid restaurant food. It's important for you to know that this isn't entirely true. While you'll definitely need to take a different approach to how you order and consume food at restaurants, and may even need to be more particular about the places you frequent, you can continue to enjoy restaurant food even with your food allergy. Here are some tactics that you'll generally want to employ.
Research Menus Online
If you drop into different restaurants and begin to peruse the menus, you may find that there are relatively few things that you can safely eat. To avoid having to order something that is safe but that doesn't appeal to you, or getting up and leaving without eating, you'll want to get into the habit of researching menus online. Before you plan to eat out, take a few minutes to check the menu online. Even though a menu won't contain a full list of the ingredients used to prepare the dish, you'll be able to gauge how many menu items appear safe for you.
Print An Allergy Card
It can be risky to explain your allergies to your server and have him or her relay this information to the kitchen staff. The concern is that the server will neglect to mention something—especially if you've given a lengthy list of allergies—and the food in question could end up on your plate. A better idea is to print up a stack of small cards that list what you cannot eat. You can then hand the card to the server and ask him or her to confer with the kitchen staff. The details on the card make it more difficult for there to be a costly gap in communication.
Plan To Tip More
There might not seem to be a connection between food allergies and how much you tip your restaurant server, but there should be. Remember, when you're giving your server a list of allergies, you're making extra work for him or her. The server must relay the list to the kitchen, get some insight from the staff, and then return to speak with you. Sometimes, there may need to be multiple visits to the kitchen to ensure that what you want to eat is safe. Giving a tip of a few extra percent can show your gratitude for the server's legwork.
For more information or assistance, contact establishments like North Texas Allergy.