“Gluten-free” is just one health claim that has become somewhat of a buzzword over the past few years. Wheat is one of the most common food allergies, along with milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, and soy. When employees are ordering their meals through Doordash, there are a few ways to avoid these top eight allergens, without disrupting the integrity of the dish (who says your “gluten-free” lunch has to be bland and boring?). Here’s a breakdown of these allergens, along with some practical tips for ordering to ensure your team’s meals arrive tasty and safe to eat:
Rice, corn and quinoa are common substitutions for dishes containing wheat, but some of our restaurants get a bit more creative by utilizing vegetables such as sweet potato or zucchini, or wrapping burgers and sandwiches in lettuce in order to accommodate gluten allergies. Substitutions are often listed within your DoorDash app, like in this example from ROAM Artisan Burgers in San Francisco:
You can also use the search tool for specific requests, such as “lettuce wrapped burger” or “gluten-free” to find restaurants that will most likely accommodate allergen-friendly meals, like this example from Burger Story in San Francisco:
Dairy, such as cheese, butter, and cream, is a frequently requested substitute on many dishes when ordering out. More often than not, Doordash restaurants give the option to order cheese on the side or add vegan cheese to meals such as wraps and sandwiches, making it easy for dairy-free employees to order a meal that fits their dietary needs. Gott’s Roadside in San Francisco, for example, gives the option to remove various ingredients, including cheese:
Condiments that most likely contain dairy, such as salad dressings, are often kept on the side, which ensures that the meal remains high quality (no one wants a soggy salad drowning in dressing) while also keeping the salad itself dairy-free. If a dish doesn’t specify whether or not dairy-containing condiments like cheese and dressing come on the side, employees can use the special request box to communicate changes with the restaurant, such as “no cheese” or “dressing on the side”.
Most individuals with an egg allergy know to steer clear of dishes that star eggs (think cobb salad), but condiments can pose a risk for those trying to avoid eggs too. Mayonnaise and Caesar dressing are two condiments that, surprisingly, contain egg. Doordash restaurants often list condiments and toppings included with the meal to clearly communicate what the employee will receive. Eggs are sneakily a common ingredient with most baked goods, especially pastries and desserts. When ordering a sweet treat, make sure to read the description in detail to make sure it doesn’t contain egg for those with an allergy. Alternatively, use the Doordash search tool to find egg-free baked goods by searching “vegan bakeries” or “vegan desserts” (vegan food is guaranteed to be egg-free!). For example, sweet treats from the Happy Vegan in San Francisco - all labeled vegan and gluten-free, sure to be made without eggs!
Replacing soy for those with an allergy can be especially tricky for vegetarian and vegan individuals. Why? Tofu, a main source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, is made from soybeans. Foods containing soy are commonly found in Asian cuisines (think soy sauce, edamame, miso soup). Luckily, there are many other plant-based, protein-rich foods for soy-free individuals. Now, more than ever, restaurants on Doordash are getting creative with exciting vegetarian and plant-based entrees using protein-packed foods such as beans, quinoa, lentils and seitan. Employees can use the search bar to find vegetarian and vegan options, as well as thoroughly read dish descriptions to make sure the meal will adhere to their soy-free needs. If your team is uncertain whether or not a dish or specific ingredient contains soy, use the special request box to communicate allergy requirements or questions about that ingredient with the restaurant.
Even though most restaurants serve dishes with fish or shellfish, there are some cuisine types that specialize in seafood. Japanese cuisine, for example, is more likely to have a majority of dishes containing fish or shellfish on the menu. Despite this fact, individuals with a seafood allergy are still likely to find a suitable meal option. Look for vegetarian sushi rolls or bento boxes that can be personalized. The individual can choose a teriyaki chicken, vegetarian sushi roll and other sides that accommodate a fish and shellfish allergy and there you have a complete meal! Rock Japanese Cuisine in San Francisco, for example, has an array of vegetarian sushi rolls:
Sauces are something to be wary of because certain sauces, such as Worchestire sauce, contain fish. Doordash merchants are able to source a variety of high quality, allergen-friendly brands and would likely indicate whether they are using a vegan Worchestire sauce in the dish description.
Peanuts & Tree Nuts
Research shows that peanut allergies are one of the most common of the top eight allergens and can elicit the most severe allergic response. Restaurants on Doordash understand the severity of this allergy and work hard to ensure that peanuts and tree nuts come served on the side of a dish whenever possible. Some restaurants offer substitutions for both peanuts and tree nuts, like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. It doesn’t hurt that these swaps also contain protein and healthy fats, such as omega-3s!
Thankfully, there are many alternatives currently on the market that make it easier than ever for those with food allergies to find safe food to eat. Similarly, restaurants on Doordash are becoming more knowledgeable about food allergies and are getting creative in the kitchen by developing dishes that are just as tasty–if not more so–than the original versions. The Doordash platform makes it easy for employees to personalize their meals to fit their specific needs without sacrificing flavor or nutrition.
Want to help your employees eat healthily and find meals that meet their specific dietary needs? DoorDash for Work is the ideal solution to help every employee find a delicious, hassle-free, and personalized meal. Contact us today to see how we can help.