Eating out and questions to ask

With different dietary requirements, it’s very important to know the questions that you need to ask when eating out. A quick phone call to the restaurant, to find out more information, or a visit to their website, can equip you with the information you need.

So what sort of questions do you need to ask?

Ring the restaurant

Ring the restaurant a few days before.

Try to speak to their chef and advise them of your specific problems.

If you’re coeliac tell them this but also mention no wheat, rye, barley or oats.

Ask about trace amounts in sauces.

Ask about contamination issues such as cutting boards being cleaned properly between uses.

Fructose Malabsorption

Ask about specific ingredients. Know the key ones that will cause you the biggest problems and ask about these ones.

Cross Contamination

Many people don’t understand cross contamination and how it can affect you. You might need to ask them to wash the cutting board thoroughly before cutting up your salad rather than just wiping it over the sink.

The Waiter

Even if you’ve rung the restaurant beforehand speak to the waiter while they seat you. Make sure they realise you’ve spoken to the chef previously. Remind them of the details of the discussion.

The Menu

Discuss the menu with your waiter, ask them for their opinion on the dishes you’d like to eat and if they aren’t suitable for you ask for their input. They may have to go back to the chef for their advice on various ingredients. Be aware some dishes need more preparation to be suitable for coeliacs and those with fructose malabsorption, Risotto is a prime example as they would be making it with a pre-made stock (whether from a packet or one they’ve made from scratch) and they will not be able to change it to make it gluten free or FODMAP friendly.


If you’re anaphylactic be sure to talk to them about cross contamination and washing of cutting boards.