Customer service suggestion re: food allergies
Ok, let me preface this response by saying that I LOVED Couples Swept Away and will hopefully return some day.
My allergy is to fish and shell fish. When travelling this is a tough one to deal with. Here is how it went at CSA.
Each night I would warn my wait staff that I had this allergy. They said, that before I could order anything from the menu that the chef would come out and speak with me personally. This I found to be quite responsible of CSA. I would be told what off the menu I could order and was taken care of.
There was only a one comment that I would make for improvement in this area to CSA. It is regarding BUFFET style dining.
Anyone with a fish/ seafood allergy probably will not be able to eat at the buffet because of the following.
The fish and seafood products are interspersed with all of the typically "non allergic" foods.
Also, even if you had them just in a separate area from the others it, people who do not have allergies, typically do not understand the danger that they are putting people at when they take a spoon from another dish and put it in the fish dish or one that most people NEVER think of is that if you take a spoon from a non fish dish and even touch it to the seafood on your plate, you have now contaminated the spoon and the non - fish dish.
This is extremely dangerous as, (another little known fact) - each exposure to your allergen usually results in a worse reaction, until eventually there is a full on anaphylactic reaction resulting in death. Many people assume that it if they didn't have a "bad" reaction last time that it will be the same the next time. WRONG! This could be very perious in a forigen country for travellers.
All of this results in a fear in people with allergies that generally, if they are smart, will hender them from enjoying buffet style dining, thus cutting down on options like Internationaly night, beach parties and regular even breakfast buffet dining.
So, here is my suggestion/request to somewhat mediate this issue for the typical allergens like fish, shell fish and nuts:
CSA - Please consider having 1-2 stations that are completely separate from the non-typical allergen foods (fish - nuts - those are the ones that affect the largest number of North Americans and post dangerous risks).
Have the buffet set up so there is a definite beginning and end of the buffet line so that people will start loading their plates at one end of the line ehre there is not fish / nuts and end at the other where there is an option for fish or nuts. Put the fish and nut product at a separate station located specifically at the end of the line so that as people load their plates with typically "non-allergic" foods so that they are not touching the spoons to foods already on the plates that are typically dangerous allergy foods. They will not have the opportunity to do so until the end of the line, which will stop cross contamination. You would have to put a rope barrier along the buffets so that people couldn't just walk up to the middle of the line and load products on to a plate that has already been to the fish station with. As far as going up for seconds. Have patrons take a new plate for seconds. That should be a policy anyway, as it will stop cross contamination of germs.
The only other challenge I had was at Lemongrass. I was looking forward to trying Thai food for a long time. The chef came out and said that he would make me Pad Thai without the fish sauce. When it arrived it tasted like oil on noodles. There was no flavour. So, that being said I would suggest more non-fish/seafood Thai options as I know that they do exist.
I loved CSA and I know that they tried. Just a few tweaks and this problem could be licked. Sometimes cultures that are not used to having such allergies, tend not to think about things like the above mentioned re: Buffet. As CSA takes customer service seriously, I'm sure that once they consider my response, they will look into solutions.
No worries mon.
Sunny D N' rum