Like the saying goes, the best way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. Unfortunately, this path has become far more confusing for event planners in recent years due to unique diets becoming more commonplace with the average eater.

To provide some peace of mind, we decided to highlight some of the more specific food lifestyles (specifically vegetarian-based diets, popular elimination diets & religious restrictions) that you’ll see your attendees wanting from your next event. Check them out below!

Vegetarian-Based Diets

  • Vegan – A plant based diet with no animal products or by-products. They do not eat red meat, white meat, fowl, fish, eggs, dairy, honey or gelatin.
  • Ovo-Vegetarian – Eat mostly plants in addition to eggs. They do not eat dairy products, red meat, white meat, fowl or fish.
  • Lacto-Vegetarian – Eat mostly plants in addition to dairy products. They do not eat eggs, red meat, white meat, fowl or fish.
  • Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians – Eat mostly plants in addition to dairy products and eggs. They do not eat red meat, white meat, fowl or fish.
  • Pescetarians – A vegetarian diet (including dairy and eggs) but they also eat fish. They do not eat red meat, white meat or fowl.

Popular Elimination Diets

  • Atkins DietLarge amounts of protein and fat. This diet is typically extremely low in carbs and alcohol.
  • Paleo Diet – Large amounts of vegetables, fruit, seeds, lean meats, seafood and healthy fat. This diet must avoid processed food, dairy, grains, legumes, starches, sugar, and alcohol.
  • Raw Food Diet – Diet where you can only eat an unlimited amount of raw vegan food.
  • Whole30 Diet – 30 day diet consisting of fresh fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, eggs, healthy fats, and nut butters. This diet must avoid sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, and alcohol.
  • Gluten Free / Dairy (Lactose) Free Diet – Diet eliminating gluten or dairy (typically lactose). These diets are often be used by those with IBS or Crohn’s Disease.

Religious Restrictions

  • Hinduism – Many Hindus will often eat a lacto-vegetarian diet (see above). However, Hindus are not religiously restricted from eating white meat, seafood, and fowl. It is traditionally forbidden to eat beef.  
  • Judaism – Depending on your denomination, Jews can have a very complex set of guidelines. It is traditionally forbidden to eat non-Kosher foods, pigs, shellfish, rabbits, reptiles and to mix meat and dairy from the same animal.
  • Islam – Most Muslims will traditionally eat Halal meats (except for pork/lard, carnivorous animals, and birds of prey). It is traditionally forbidden to drink alcohol.

While we aren’t suggesting that you have all of these dietary options available at your next event, you could include a section in your event registration that allows your attendees to put in their dietary restrictions. This information will allow for you to gauge interest and see what is important to your attendees. Also, don’t forget to include some vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy free options as those requests have become the most common  diet restrictions in recent years. Make sure to clearly label these food options (as well as any others) so your attendees don’t have any confusion when it comes time to eat.

Planning an event, especially a big one, can seem like a daunting task. There are a million things to do and, if you’re like most organizations, very few people to help. But don’t worry! We’ve broken down the event planning process into nine simple steps for overall success. Check out our free guide 9 Steps to Event Planning below!