Allergens, News

The Need for Greater Allergen Transparency in the Restaurant Industry

Food allergies are a growing concern for millions of people worldwide. In the UK alone, it’s estimated that around 2 million people live with a diagnosed food allergy (FSA, 2021).

Despite the increasing awareness of the importance of allergen information, a significant percentage of restaurants and food establishments still do not disclose allergen information on their menus. A study conducted by menuzen.com aims to highlight the need for greater allergen transparency in the restaurant industry to safeguard the health of diners with food allergies and sensitivities.

Menuzen conducted a comprehensive survey of 1,000 restaurants across various cuisines in the UK. Menuzen examined their menus to determine the percentage of restaurants that do not disclose allergen information.

The cuisines included in the survey were British, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Japanese, and Middle Eastern.

Key Findings:

Overall, 35% of the surveyed restaurants did not provide allergen information on their menus. The percentages vary across different cuisines:

  • British: 30%
  • Italian: 40%
  • Indian: 36%
  • Chinese: 33%
  • Thai: 38%
  • Mexican: 32%
  • Japanese: 29%
  • Middle Eastern: 42%

A lack of allergen information on menus presents a significant risk for customers with food allergies and sensitivities, who often rely on clear and accurate information to make safe dining choices. A huge 48% of surveyed customers with food allergies reported that they had experienced an allergic reaction due to inadequate allergen information provided at a restaurant.

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of allergen information. Our survey found that 67% of diners consider clear allergen information to be a crucial factor when choosing a restaurant.

Restaurants that provide transparent allergen information can benefit from increased customer trust and loyalty. According to our survey, 72% of respondents stated that they are more likely to return to a restaurant that provides clear allergen information on their menus.

Recommendations:

The data clearly shows that there is a need for greater allergen transparency in the restaurant industry. Food establishments must prioritize allergen disclosure to ensure the safety and well-being of their customers.

Menuzen recommends that all restaurants take the following steps and actions:

  • Restaurants should provide clear and accurate allergen information on their menus or have a separate allergen menu available upon request.
  • Staff should be trained to handle allergen-related inquiries and be knowledgeable about the ingredients and preparation methods of the dishes served.
  • Establishments should consider working with local allergy organizations or obtaining certifications to demonstrate their commitment to allergen management.
  • Policymakers should work towards strengthening regulations related to allergen disclosure in the restaurant industry, to reduce the risk of allergic reactions and increase consumer confidence in dining out.

By implementing these recommendations, restaurants can cater to a broader customer base, build trust and loyalty, and contribute to a safer dining environment for individuals with food allergies and sensitivities.

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Menuzen.com has everything that you need to make the perfect menu for your website. They also offer comprehensive guides on running a restaurant, covering everything from how to market your business, to what every restaurant needs to be successful, and much more.

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