#8 How NOT To KILL Your Customers: Stereotypes

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How To KILL Your Customers with #8 Stereotypes

Vegans are often assumed to be activists, extremists, protestors – whilst the stereotypes exist it is absolutely unfair to assume.

80% of people eating vegan options are not vegan, and I’ve no idea what percentage of vegans are flexitarian when they eat out to avoid discrimination or exclusion.

I’ve also met many “vegans” who eat fish, it’s just how they describe their diet, it’s nothing to do with veganism or perhaps it is. I'm just advising you, as people tend to openly tell me these things. It's probably easier to understand than pescatarians that avoid other animal vegetarian products.

People with food allergies are not fussy, hypochondriacs, difficult or complainers. 20% of people believe they have a food sensitivity and 2 million in the UK are recorded officially as severely allergic.

Yes “allegedies”, people who say they are allergic who are not, may just be simplifying matters or they might be sensitive in an non-allergic way.

Food intolerances, are normally non-deadly, but may be extremely harmful. An intolerance in other contexts does meet the definition for allergy (an adverse reaction to something which is typically harmless).

Aversions are a psychological reaction to food. Someone may vomit at the sight, smell, texture of food, or thought of it, but physically they should remain unharmed.

People can be allergic to foods not listed in the common EU 14 allergies, in fact there are over 200 known foods that cause allergies. Just because it isn’t common doesn’t mean it’s made up.

Take any mention of food allergy or intolerance seriously (including allegedies - you might be wrong).

Just from my network there are severe (deadly) allergies to onion, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, passionfruit, melon, avocado, carrots, chili and ginger. I do not doubt them.

Nightshades is also a very common intolerance. Legume allergies pops up often too but it's logical, it’s the same family as peanuts.

Some people with dietary preferences will be very nervous to eat out due to bad past experience, either near death experiences or painful allergy (or intolerance) symptoms. They may also have experience of being mistreated, not believed, lied to, ridiculed, aggression or dumb waiters (see my earlier post).

People may be vegan and allergic or intolerant. To a whole range of animal products. Some people may be misusing terms, but surely what matters is avoiding hurting anyone, physically or emotionally.

Food allergies are severe for many, and all of it comes down to customer service, human decency and good intentions. Customers are entitled to ask about ingredients and contamination without consequence, make it easy.

If you’d like to learn more join my FREE 5 Day Challenge http://inclusivefoodservice.com/register

or if that doesn't suit you check out "work with Heather" on my website or group programme starting soon http://wellintentionedfoodies.com

 

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