06-18-2018 03:43 PM - edited 09-18-2018 01:41 PM
The reviews Local Guides like you share on Google Maps can give people important information that helps them make decisions about where they go. When you’re reviewing a restaurant, one of the most helpful details you can share is whether or not it accommodates people with restricted diets.
Dining out should be an enjoyable experience, but it can be a stressful one for people with food allergies or dietary restrictions. Some restaurants just don’t have many options for them. So, they end up taking a long time to decide what to order, ordering something they don’t like, or not ordering at all.
While some restaurants share their menus online, many people look at reviews to make decisions about where and what they’ll eat. Now that you can search keywords and phrases in reviews on Google Maps, it’s easier than ever to find reviews that give you the information you need. People with dietary restrictions can search things like “gluten-free” or “vegan-friendly” and instantly find reviews that give them details about their options.
Here are some tips for writing reviews that help people with restricted diets.
People who have celiac disease or a gluten-intolerance need to avoid gluten because it can be harmful to their health. When people with celiac disease eat gluten, their immune system responds by damaging their small intestine. To treat the disease, they eliminate wheat, barley, rye and other grains that contain gluten from their diet. That means no bread, beer, cake, pasta, soy sauce, or cereal, just to name a few.
Want to help guide gluten-free eaters? Find out if a restaurant has gluten-free alternatives and add this information to your reviews. Or share photos of signage that shows gluten-free options are available.
While there’s usually at least one meatless dish on a restaurant’s menu, vegetarians want options! If you’re eating at a meat-heavy restaurant, such as a BBQ joint or a steakhouse, take note of the vegetarian options available. Are there meat substitutes? Can some of the most popular dishes be made vegetarian? Is a salad the only vegetarian option?
Think about these questions when you’re writing reviews to help vegetarians make decisions about where they eat. Or create a list of the best vegetarian-friendly restaurants in your area to help guide others to great meatless meals.
People who eat a vegan diet don’t eat meat, fish, poultry, dairy, or any other animal products. It can often be difficult for them to find menu items that meet their needs because
eggs, milk, and butter are such popular ingredients.
To help them out, keep an eye out for vegan dishes when you’re looking at a menu. Some restaurants make them easy to find by explicitly labeling menu items as vegan. If you order one, give a detailed account of what you thought and be sure to use the keyword “vegan” in your review. Adding a photo? Remember that color is key when shooting vegetarian or vegan dishes.
A dairy-free diet eliminates milk and all related products such as butter, yogurt, and cheese. Luckily for dairy-free eaters, there are many alternative options such as soy, almond, and coconut milk products. However, not all restaurants, cafes, or bakeries offer them.
Your contributions on Google Maps can help people discover which ones do. Writing a review about a cafe? Include information about any milk substitutes they offer. Enjoying a pastry at a local bakery? Ask if they have any dairy-free desserts and include that information in your review.
These are just a few of many food allergies or preferences people can have, but we hope this gets you thinking about ways you can guide people with dietary restrictions. What are some of your favorite gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan-friendly restaurants? Tell us in the comments!