Food for All: Accommodating Dietary Restrictions & Allergies in Catering

Food for All: Accommodating Dietary Restrictions & Allergies in Catering

Unlike in the past, serving the same generic menu at an event no longer works. People today want more choices and exercise in their food preferences.

A successful event now requires fulfilling the divergent dietary needs of guests, and anything less is setting up for failure. Accommodate the various nutritional restrictions, including nut allergy, vegan and gluten-free, and make it enjoyable for every attendee.

So how do you create an accommodating menu at your event?


At the core of an accommodating menu is communication. You must know the various diet restrictions of your crowd of attendees, and you gain this insight through communication.

Gather information on dietary needs by reaching out to guests, and then communicate it clearly to the catering department of the event space you’re using.

Providing the appropriate menu options to accommodate the various dietary needs is a vital step to enhancing your guests’ dining experience. In other words, the event is more enjoyable with a well-rounded menu.

Be Mindful of Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination is highly possible when dealing with dietary restrictions. Sometimes the caterer may use the same cutlery or utensils, which may cause allergy issues you were trying to avoid. Cross-contamination can also occur when preparing food.

So, what do you do to avoid cross-contamination?

Use separate utensils, kitchen equipment, and ingredients. The preparation areas should also be different to avoid exposure to allergens. Also, clearly label the dishes so your guests can identify which food is safe.

At Villa Ragusa, we allow outside catering to accommodate different dietary restrictions and preferences. Our food is of the best quality and prepared by expert chefs. You’re free to blend the use of your outside caterer and our food and drinks menu. A larger variety of food and beverages means better choices and an improved dining experience. Check out our guidelines for outside catering.

Catering for the Kids Attending Baby Showers

Catering for the Kids Attending Baby Showers

Parents and other attendees to baby showers often treat the occasion as an adult-only affair; sometimes, they may overlook their kids. They soon learn that bored children are not fun to have around parties, as they may start misbehaving and even threaten to ruin the occasion.

You also don’t want your kids associating their expected sibling with a boring event. Create good memories for everyone.

For the kids, provide them with food and activities tailored to their interests and needs to keep them engaged and entertained.

Good Food, Happy Kids and Happy Adults

A variety of kid-friendly food options can help ensure that all guests, including the children, can enjoy the event and have a good time. Parents bringing their children to the baby shower may appreciate the effort to provide food their kids will enjoy. A way to a parent’s heart is through kids.

Provide a variety of kid-friendly food options, such as fruit, vegetables, cheese, and crackers as well as some of their all-time favorites. Remember to offer sweet and savory items, and consider any dietary restrictions or allergies the children may have.

Remember to Set Up a Play Area

An event involving children is never fun without play. Kids need an avenue to dispense some of their pent-up energy, or they start using it on mischievous activities. You don’t want that!

Set up a dedicated play area with toys and games appropriate for the children’s ages and interests. This can include books, puzzles, coloring pages, and small toys.

Activities and games designed for children can include diaper changing races, baby bottle chugging contests, or more general games, such as Simon Says or Mother May I.

Sometimes, it’s also a great idea to consider hiring a babysitter or enlisting the help of a trusted family member or friend. They can supervise the children and help keep them entertained during the event.

Involve the Children in the Celebrations

Involving the children in the celebration by including them in activities and games makes them feel they are part of the group. Don’t leave the kids out when it’s time for any rituals or traditions associated with the baby shower. Involve them as well.

Use an Event Center That Allows Outside Caterers

Use an Event Center That Allows Outside Caterers

What sets us apart is our unique and stylish amenities and the fact that we allow outside catering. Yes, we accept and respect the fact that clients can have different tastes and preferences.

Villa Ragusa is one of the rare event centers that allow using a favorite caterer – we all have our favorites. While this might seem trivial, it’s vital and can have various benefits.

Here are some of the benefits:

You’re Not Tied to One Caterer

When you use an event center that allows outside caterers, you’re not tied to one caterer and can pick the one that best fits your event. And if you have a specific menu in mind, you can find a caterer that will be able to accommodate your needs.

You’ll Save Money

An event center that allows an outside caterer is a great option to save a few bucks. It means you won’t be paying the markup charged by many venues for their in-house catering services.

Customization and More Control Over the Menu

You’ll have more control over the menu, so you can choose dishes you know your guests will love. And if you have invitees with special dietary needs, you can find a caterer that will be able to accommodate them.

A center that allows outside caterers accommodates more customizations that you desire for your event than any other. You can work with the caterer to create a menu that fits your event.

You’ll Be Able to Use Your Own Caterer

When you use an event center that allows outside caterers, you’ll be able to use a caterer who is experienced in making the food you like best. Most event centers only allow their own caterers to use their facilities. So, with Villa Ragusa, we give you the choice of our in-house caterer or your favorite.

Unlike most centers that force renters to use the center’s catering, we’ll allow you to bring your favorite caterer. The exception is alcoholic drinks which must be prepared and served by the Villa Ragusa staff. Note that the guest’s caterer must be approved in advance and follow the requirements.

Why an Event Space is Important for Your Business

Why an Event Space is Important for Your Business

If you are holding a business event in California, a small town friendly atmosphere like Downtown Campbell is a great location. Villa Ragusa has built its reputation on an attractive modern classic European style, full-service catering and top quality event venue services.

Renting an event space has a basketful of benefits to your small business in California.

Visual Appeal

An event venue with unique architectural elements and a stunning interior has a way of creating an exciting and comfortable feeling among the attendees. They associate the excellent class with organization and success, values that you want to demonstrate to the clients or other stakeholders.

The decorative lighting, coupled with big and airy spaces, creates a comfortable environment for a business meeting. Thus, you can have an intimate discussion and achieve your objectives.


Memorable Meetings

Event spaces such as Villa Ragusa have exceptional amenities that make the event truly memorable. Great ambience in a quiet, small-town atmosphere and outdoor balconies makes the idea of being outside the workplace a great one. Your attendees are more likely to remember even the tiniest of details because the event venue left a big impression on them.

Professional Services

You do not have time to micromanage every detail in a meeting, such as food. You need an event space that is going to do all the legwork to make the meeting successful. Everyone does not provide professional services such as skilled catering, event management and exceptional amenities. Make sure you choose the right venue to make the event truly successful and memorable.

Villa Ragusa is a flexible and genuinely professional event venue that your business needs. You can hold a stakeholder meeting or award presentations for the staff. You can also use the event space to launch a new product or service. Contact us today.

Banquet Halls in Silicon Valley That Allow Outside Catering

Banquet Halls in Silicon Valley That Allow Outside Catering

Everyone wants a picture-perfect event, with attention to detail. We all have different tastes and preferences, which most banquet halls or event places may not accommodate. In such a case, outside catering comes in handy. In Silicon Valley, there are not many event places that allow outside catering.

Here is What You Receive at Villa Ragusa


For outside catering, it is a requirement to purchase beverages from Villa Ragusa. The event place provides barware unless you bring your own. We will require an on-site catering manager to ensure that everything flows smoothly.

Normally, there are about 7 bar packages you can choose from to entertain your guests. The simple package includes soft drinks and juice, while the essential package is juice soft drinks and a cash bar. You may prefer the usual package: a cash bar, tab bar, juice, and soft drinks.

The traditional package has house wine, tap bar, juice, soft drinks, and a cash bar. On the other hand, the “priceless” package incorporates Well Brands, cash bar, house wine, tap beer, juice, and soft drinks.


Sit down dinners at the reception and buffets can be done with your own caterer. For the guidelines that your caterer needs to follow, please see our catering information.

Premium brand liquor, Well Brands, draft beer, house wine, soft drinks, and juice are in the “finest” package. The full package will have everything mentioned plus bottled water, premium wine, and champagne.

Catering Capacity

Villa Ragusa has up to 6 galleries with different capacities. The gallery with the lowest capacity is The West Gallery, which can accommodate up to 170 guests. The Grand Gallery is the highest with a capacity of 600 guests.

Please note that all the room rentals are according to a 5-hour period. You can still arrange for additional hours at an additional fee.

Day of Coordination

Our team will be on hand to help ensure that the day becomes a memorable one. The event team will maintain good cooperation and communication with the vendors, and help with the ceremony rehearsal, as well as, help the ushers on the big day. Our people will also set up the reception and help on the day of the reception.

At Villa Ragusa, our goal is to ensure that everything turns out as you had imagined. Contact us if you are looking for a banquet hall in Silicon Valley that allows outside catering.

Getting Corporate Event Venue to Accept Your Caterer

Getting Corporate Event Venue to Accept Your Caterer

When putting on a corporate event in Silicon Valley, you’re sure to have a diverse crowd. One of the difficulties with venues is getting them to accept the caterer you use to meet the dining requirements of your diverse crowd. Villa Ragusa understands the needs of companies and is one of the very few that happily allows outside caterers.

Dietary Needs of Attendees

There are many special dietary needs in a corporate event crowd. You’ll likely hear from attendees of your event that they need special food prepared for their meal breaks. You’ll likely be asked for vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, kosher and Halal. Most companies rely on caterers that can handle these food requests.

Unfortunately, in and around the Silicon Valley, most venues for corporate events won’t allow any outside catering in their facilities. This puts the company in a real bind, as their attendees need that special menu or they cannot eat on site. If they cannot take advantage of the convenience of eating onsite with other attendees, this is a deal breaker. They won’t attend.

Villa Ragusa has a plan in place to accommodate your caterers. We want to make sure your event is a huge success, and we understand that foods for special dietary needs is something every company must provide for their attendees.

Outside Catering Guidelines

We have guidelines in place for when your event needs to bring in an outside caterer. Of course, we’d love to prepare a special menu, but our kitchen isn’t set up to do catering for gluten-free, kosher, halal and other specialty foods. So, we have set up a process that ensures your caterer will be able to bring in their foods and your event will go on without a hitch.

See our Outside Catering Guidelines and begin the process long before your scheduled date.