How Important Are Food-Allergic Diners?

How Important Are Food-Allergic Diners?

How Important Are Food-Allergic Diners? founder Paul Antico has spent the past year encouraging restaurants to offer better accomodations for food allergic and food intolerant diners because it’s the respectful thing to do. Now he can provide financial back-up to prove his point, demonstrating that by catering to the food allergic and intolerant community, restaurants can significantly increase profits.

With nearly 5% of the general population known to have some form of allergy or intolerance to a food product or by-product, Antico recognized the massive spending power of this group due to his 17 years of experience as a former stock fund manager. He is urging restaurants to offer new food allergy tailored menu items to take advantage of this largely ignored section of the restaurant visiting public.

Even if 20% of that population won’t feel comfortable dining out anywhere, and another 20% will try to eat at any restaurant, 9 million food intolerant and allergic diners are left over in the middle. That population could be won over by allergy-sensitive restaurants. Restaurants must also consider that most diners bring along guests, and a single food allergic diner could bring 2 or 3 guests at each visit.

It only takes one person with a serious food allergy to determine where a party of diners will eat. Each group of 3, 5 or even 10 diners containing a food-allergic diner could be persuaded to visit the restaurant that caters to that one person’s needs. Due to these numbers, Antico estimates that business could be increased as much as 9% for any restaurant who chooses to become food allergy friendly.

Many restaurants are already taking this advice and developing programs for employee training in allergy safety, creating new gluten-free menu items and providing detailed ingredient lists for allergic diners. Paul Antico has also founded the AllergyEats website to connect food-allergic diners and help them share information on restaurants that accommodate allergic customers across the country.

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