Lodge Reservation Dietary Notes Improvement
The following is from Mary Ann Cameron, a life time member of the Mountaineers. She works at Rick Steve's Europe Through the Back Door. Rich Steve's had a lot of trouble meeting the diets of their tour members so they now ask only for medical dietary restrictions. This substantially reduced their problems and they have had minimal complaints. In the paperwork you fill out when you sign up for one of his tours the only question pertaining to diet is: “
MEDICAL DIETARY RESTRICTIONS (things that will make you ill).
If Rick Steves can send 20,000 tourists each year to Europe for 10-20 days and only address medical restrictions why do we have to address every dietary fad and preference. We are not a restaurant.
This is a relatively easy label and/or help text change that we can do if anyone feels strongly about it.
Perhaps a series of checkboxes with the Allergy label (idea from Casey) that lets users pick from the most common ones: Gluten, Dairy, Peanut, Tree Nut, Fish/Shellfish, Egg, Soy. It would still need a free form field to catch the less common restrictions.
Our active members sign up for numerous events. Every event that includes food requires then to tell us their dietary needs. Again. And again and again. Their dietary needs rarely change, so it's silly that we force them to keep telling us the same thing.
Member profiles/preferences should have that data and it should automatically populate all activities / events / stays where food is served.
Two settings should encompass 99% of use cases. A radio button to select a dietary preference from: (any / mediterranean / pescatarian / vegetarian / vegan), and a free form field to express food restrictions and severity (nuts / dairy / gluten / etc.).
Aren't most of Rick's trip meals AT restaurants!? His guests will still get to choose what they eat from a menu of choices. The organizers just have to know that so-and-so has a gluten, peanut, soy, or whatever allergy and wherever they go must have accommodations for that.
On a typical Saturday we have 60-80 people eating at Meany. A growing number (10-20%) express their dietary preferences in free-form on the signup sheets. We often see two types of data in the Dietary Notes section: "gluten free vegan." Gluten free is a medical issue. Vegan is a choice with lifestyle, social, and health components. What is well-known is that eating less meat is better for ones health and the planet. We'll call that the revenge of tasty animals. We, the cooks, accommodate our guests. It's not difficult to have a vegan alternative at every meal and it doesn't leave a fraction of our guests fending for themselves and less excited to return.
I'm +1 on renaming the Dietary Notes to Medical Dietary Restrictions, but in conjunction with that change, adding a radio button for each person to express their dietary preferences:
• prepared - you cook, I eat.
• planetarian / mediterranean / flexitarian - mostly plant based
• pescatarian - plants + fish
• vegetarian - plant based + animal products
• vegan - strictly plant based
In practice, we'll continue to make what the cook chooses AND prepare a vegan alternative. The vege/pesca/flexitarians might add a la carte from the other items. This change provides a way for our guests to signal their preferences to the cooks separately from their medical needs. (With CFRC hat on: I also hope that it nudges our cooks to cook more plant based / lower carbon meals.)