Allergen Menus – Three Great Reasons To Use Them

Woman orders from allergen menu in a cafe

What is an allergen menu?

Allergen Menus are food menus for your café or restaurant which contain allergen information.  A well-crafted allergen menu makes it easier for your customers to make informed choices about what they can and can’t order.

My staff know the menu. Why do I need an allergen menu?

Good question.  It’s now a legal requirement for cafes and restaurants in the UK to provide recorded allergy information to customers.  It’s fine for your staff to tell customers what they can and can’t eat from your menu, but this has to be backed up with a written record of your allergen information.  This could be on a menu, a board on the wall or an information pack. However you must provide it in a written format and signpost to your customers where they can find it. This is where Menu Guide comes in. An online allergen menu keeps you compliant and is a great way of making sure that everyone can see what is and isn’t suitable for them to eat!

Menu Guide- an online allergen menu creation tool

Menu Guide – an online allergen menu creation tool

Creating an online allergen menu sounds pretty time consuming…

At Menu Guide we understand how busy the life of a food retailer can be.  The important thing to remember is that more and more of your customers now suffer from some kind of food allergy.  Current figures put the number of food allergy sufferers at around 2 million in the United Kingdom, and over 32 million in the USA*.  That’s a lot of your customers, and looking at current trends, the percentage of your customers who need allergen information on their visit to your food business is only going to get bigger…

However it doesn’t need to be a long-winded process to create an allergy menu.  Using Menu Guide’s own Excel Allergen Content Spreadsheet (opens in new window), restauranteurs and café owners can easily keep track of their allergen menus, and with a Menu Guide account, they can convert this information into a live, online allergen menu within a couple of minutes and keep it updated from anywhere at any time.

Surely it’s the customer’s responsibility, not mine?

You’re right, the customer does have a responsibility to declare that they have a food allergy when they visit your café or restaurant. Having a highly visible allergen menu makes it easier for your customers to make the right dining choices, reduces requests for modified dishes and prevents service delays.

A good allergen menu also tends to lead to a positive dining experience for the customer.  We don’t need to tell you there’s a much higher chance you’re going to get repeat business if your customers go away happy!

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* (6 June 2019)