9. Ask for the manager
If the person greeting you seems a bit unsure about your specific requirements for the evening, the best thing to do is to ask to see the manager and ensure they are going to be the ones looking after you during your meal. – this is key. Our bad experiences have told us that whenever something went wrong with the service received when trying to dine with allergies, junior staff (or worse, different members of staff) were taking the order and genuinely didn’t have a clue what they were doing.
10. Don’t be afraid to clarify
Assuming that you are being looked after very well by the manager (or someone competent with allergies) and your meal is going well, never be afraid to ask questions or clarify something on the menu or anything you are planning to order. It is always better to ask something and have peace of mind, than to wonder about a dish and unnecessarily worry about the ingredients or how something has been prepared.
11. Don’t be afraid to leave
If, at any point during the meal, you are not happy with the way you are being looked after with your allergies, tell the manager of the restaurant that you are not happy. If you do not feel comfortable sharing your views openly, you should leave the restaurant. It is better to leave and be able to leave safe, than sorry.
12. Don’t be afraid to challenge
Don’t EVER be afraid to challenge the manager/waiter if you feel the food you have been served does not look right or you think the offending allergen might be in your dish. This is a crucial point – someone tried to serve me and my family with a chicken dish COVERED IN HAZELNUTS, even though we explicitly said our son had a severe nut allergy, yet the waiter guessed that the suspicious ingredient on the dish was not nuts, which in fact it was. NO ONE should ever guess dishes or ingredients when dealing with allergies.