Why you should use dietary and allergen tags in your digital menu

September 16, 2022
min read

Offering the path of least resistance to customers is good advice for anyone in the hospitality industry. That’s why you don’t often see restaurants ask diners to bring their own chair (if you use that idea, at least credit us). And your menu should be no exception - keep things simple. 

Providing dietary and allergen tags is an easy way to ensure your customers are viewing, ordering and enjoying the food and drinks that are right for them. Let’s break down why this is best practice. 

Dietary filters are used a lot (we have the data to prove it) 

Taking a step back from prevalence, it’s always worthwhile considering the user experience of your menu. Offering customers a way to quickly find the items they’re looking for makes for a positive experience. 

It also reduces time spent discussing suitable options with customers who are looking for something in particular. While we can’t quantify that time precisely, just think about all the times a customer has listed every menu item and asked if it contains gluten, then multiply that by 46,221 (hint: that’s a lot). 

Customers expect abbreviations 

A picture says a thousand words – so an abbreviation must say at least a few hundred. Users increasingly expect menus to include indicators for special dietary options and allergens, so you’re missing a beat if you don’t have them. 

Another benefit of abbreviations is that they make your menu more scannable. If someone is used to looking for vegan options, then VG will be burnt into their brain, and it becomes an expectation when they’re looking at a menu – and digital menus are no exception.

Common abbreviations include:

GF: Gluten-Free

GFO: Gluten-Free Option

V: Vegetarian 

VO: Vegetarian Option 

VG: Vegan 

VGO: Vegan Option

(This is essentially endless, and you should feel free to use your own key as long as you explain it in your menu.)

Listing allergens is basic hygiene 

Not hygiene in that sense, unless you wash your hands with peanut butter (you should probably stop doing that). From 1960 to 2018, the number of allergies present in the global population more than doubled

Ordering food can be a minefield for those with allergies. However, by taking the time to state known allergens in your menu items, you will greatly reduce stress for customers who rely on that information – resulting in a better dining experience.

It might be a requirement 

Depending on where you’re based, it may be a requirement to list allergens or include statements on your menu. For instance, in Australia, food service providers have a responsibility to display clear, up-to-date and accurate information on the food allergen status of their offering. And in the UK, Natasha’s Law requires venues to share information on allergens or list known allergens in pre-packed food. 

Key takeaways 

  • Dietary and allergen tags provide a better user experience
  • The prevalence of allergies and dietary preferences is growing 
  • Listing allergens may be a requirement in your country

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter

Pop in your details and we'll serve you tips and tricks for helping grow your business and ask nothing in return.

Sign me up
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Mr Yum x me&u = Better together

The two leading sales and marketing tools for hospitality brands have merged!