Dietary Needs at Universal Orlando Resort

Are you visiting Universal Orlando and have dietary needs such as gluten intolerance, nut allergies, dairy free, vegan or vegetarian?

Nicole Martino, the Universal dining nutritionist, shares her role in handling special requests and emphasises the importance of accommodating guests with diet needs for a safe and enjoyable experience.

There are a number of dining locations throughout Universal Orlando Resort and they can all help with food allergies or intolerances.  

Nicole Martino: Handling Special Dietary Requests

Welcome to another exciting blog post where we dive deep into the world of hospitality and the efforts made to cater to the diverse needs of guests. Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Nicole Martino, the on-property nutritionist. Nicole plays a crucial role in ensuring that every guest’s food requests and requirements are met seamlessly. Let’s learn more about Nicole and her journey in handling special diet requests.

Understanding the Role of Nicole Martino at Universal Orlando

Nicole Martino’s role as the Universal Orlando nutritionist entails working closely with the culinary team to ensure guests’ needs are met. She is responsible for overseeing the preparation and delivery of meals that adhere to specific restrictions or preferences. Nicole’s expertise allows her to create menus and meals that cater to a wide range of needs, including gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, and religious restrictions.

Through careful planning and collaboration with the chefs, Nicole ensures that guests with special dietary requests can enjoy their meals safely and without compromising on taste or quality. Her role extends beyond just providing suitable food options; she also educates the staff about various dietary needs and ensures they are well-informed to address any guest inquiries.

The Importance of Accommodating Guests with Special Dietary Needs

Nicole Martino emphasises the significance of accommodating guests. She believes that every guest should have the opportunity to enjoy a memorable experience without feeling limited by their restrictions. By offering a variety of options and alternatives, Nicole and her culinary staff will make every effort to ensure that no guest feels left out or unattended to.

The hospitality industry has undergone a significant shift in recent years, with an increasing number of guests following specific choices or having medical restrictions. As a result, it is crucial for resort hotels and resorts to adapt to these evolving needs. Accommodating guest preferences not only increases guest satisfaction but also enhances the reputation of the property as a destination that values inclusivity and guest well-being.

Nicole believes that by going the extra mile to cater to special requests, hotels can build long-lasting relationships with their guests. When guests feel understood and cared for, they are more likely to return and recommend the property to others. In an era where social media plays a significant role in shaping public opinion, positive reviews and recommendations from satisfied guests can greatly benefit a property’s image and business.

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A Safe and Enjoyable Experience for All At Universal Studios Florida

One of Nicole Martino’s primary goals is to ensure that guests with allergies or intolerances have a safe and enjoyable experience during their stay. This involves not only preparing meals, but also maintaining strict protocols to prevent cross-contamination and allergen exposure.  Across the entire resort including Universal’s evening entertainment centre CityWalk and the brilliant Volcano Bay water theme park, guests can find plenty of available options. 

From the moment a guest makes a reservation, Nicole and her team begin meticulously planning their meals. They take into account any allergies, intolerances, or preferences communicated by the guest. This information is then relayed to the culinary team, who follow strict guidelines to prepare and serve the meals accordingly.

Throughout the entire process, clear and open communication between the guest, Nicole Martino, and the culinary team is paramount. Guests are encouraged to provide detailed information regarding their needs, enabling Nicole and her team to cater to their requirements more effectively. Nicole also stresses the need for guests to notify the property in advance of any changes or new restrictions to ensure a smooth and seamless experience.

Nicole Martino’s role as the on-property nutritionist plays a vital part in ensuring that guests are well taken care of. With her expertise and passion for nutrition, she works alongside the culinary team to prepare delicious and safe meals.

By helping guests, hotels and resorts not only show their commitment to exceptional customer service but also create an inclusive and welcoming environment. Nicole Martino’s efforts to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all guests contribute to the overall success and reputation of the property.

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Don’t lose your stomach on the rides after eating!

Guest Experiences and Food Allergy Accommodations

Restaurants play a crucial role in accommodating guests with food allergies. They have the responsibility to ensure that their guests can enjoy a safe dining experience without compromising on taste or variety. Our podcast hosts discussed various accommodations they have encountered and appreciated during their dining experiences.

One common accommodation is the provision of allergen online menus. These menus clearly identify dishes that are free from common allergens such as nuts, gluten, dairy, and shellfish. This allows guests to make informed choices and eliminates the guesswork involved in deciphering ingredient lists.

Another important accommodation is the option to customize dishes. Many restaurants are willing to modify recipes or create custom meals. This flexibility allows individuals with food allergies to enjoy a delicious meal without feeling like they are missing out.

Moreover, cross-contamination prevention measures are paramount. Special care is taken in the kitchen to avoid any contact between allergens and allergen-free dishes. Separate utensils, cutting boards, and cooking surfaces are used, and staff are trained in proper food handling techniques to minimize the risk of cross-contamination.

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High Levels of Dedication and Detail in Accommodating Guests

The level of dedication and attention to detail displayed by restaurants in accommodating guests with food allergies is truly commendable. Our podcast hosts expressed their gratitude and admiration for the efforts made by various establishments in ensuring a safe dining experience for all.

From specialised allergy training for staff to extensive ingredient research, restaurants are going the extra mile to cater to the needs of their customers. Menu labelling is becoming more transparent, allowing individuals with food allergies to easily identify suitable options. Chefs are also taking note of restrictions and creating innovative and delicious dishes that cater to a wider range of patrons.

It is heartening to see the food service industry embracing inclusivity and recognising the importance of catering to diverse menus. By actively accommodating guests with food allergies, restaurants are not only enhancing their reputation but also creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all.

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Universal Orlando Resort’s Commitment to Making the Experience Enjoyable and Safe

Universal Orlando Resort has gained a reputation for its commitment to guest satisfaction and safety. The theme park goes above and beyond to ensure that individuals with food allergies can enjoy their visit without worry.

Guests can request an Allergen Dining Form in advance, which allows them to communicate their needs and preferences to the culinary team. This ensures that the necessary arrangements are made ahead of time so that guests can have a seamless dining experience.

In addition, the resort’s restaurants offer a variety of allergen-friendly options. Whether you have a gluten intolerance, nut allergy, or any other restriction, there are plenty of delicious choices available. From quick-service eateries to fine dining establishments, Universal Orlando Resort caters to the diverse needs of its guests.

The theme parks, hotels and Universal Citywalk place a strong emphasis on educating and training its staff about food allergies and their potential consequences. This ensures that employees are knowledgeable and equipped to handle guest inquiries and provide appropriate recommendations.

Ultimately, Universal Orlando Resort’s commitment to making the guest experience enjoyable and safe sets a positive example for the entire hospitality industry. By prioritising inclusivity and recognising the importance of accommodating guests with food allergies, they have created a space where everyone can truly have a magical experience.

4 Steps for Guests with Allergies or Dietary Restrictions

If you’ve booked your holiday to Universal Orlando, your personal Orlando Guru will handle all of this for you.  If not, here’s what you need to do:

1. Reservations and Chef Consultation

When making your dining reservation at Universal Orlando Resort, please let them know about any food allergies. This will allow them to make the necessary arrangements and provide you with the best possible dining experience.  It’s a good idea to book in advance to help you plan your dinners at the various restaurants in Universal Orlando as popular dining locations can become fully booked.

As part of their commitment to exceptional customer service, we also offer the option for guests to request a chef consultation. This allows you to discuss your allergies directly with the talented chefs, who are trained in handling food allergies and can create special dishes tailored to your needs.

2. Variety of Options for Dietary Restrictions

Throughout Universal Orlando Resort, they understand that individuals have different restrictions and preferences. That’s why we offer a wide range of options to cater to various needs. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, kosher, or have other allergen concerns, we have delicious meals available for you.

If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, you’ll find numerous plant-based options filled with flavourful ingredients. Indulge in vibrant salads, hearty plant-based burgers, or an allergy-friendly pasta dish that will satisfy your cravings.

For those who require Kosher meals, they offer a selection of dishes that adhere to strict religious laws. Their chefs ensure that all ingredients used are prepared and served in accordance with kosher guidelines.

Individuals with food allergies, rest assured knowing that we have allergen-free meals available for you. Our chefs carefully prepare these meals to eliminate potential allergens, allowing you to enjoy your dining experience worry-free.

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3. Talented Chefs and Special Dishes

The chefs at Universal Orlando Resort are not only skilled in creating delicious meals but also in handling food allergies and restrictions. They understand the importance of providing safe and enjoyable dining experiences for all guests.

When you request a chef consultation, the culinary team will work with you to craft special dishes.  You can also speak to a chef or manager at any restaurant too.

Whether you’re looking for a gluten-free option, a nut-free dessert, or a dairy-free alternative, the chefs are here to create tasty meals for your holiday.

4. Precautions Against Cross-Contamination

At Universal Orlando Resort, team members take the safety of guests with allergies seriously. They understand the concerns surrounding cross-contamination and make every effort to prevent cross-contact between allergens and non-allergenic foods. Separate storage areas, utensils, and preparation stations are separated to prevent that allergen from coming into contact with any part of your food.

Is Anything Vegan At The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter?

At the Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley, Join the veggie squad with the Ploughman’s platter.  Indulge in a spread of cheesy goodness, crunchy bread, crisp apple salad, roasted tomatoes, tangy cornichon pickles, apple beet salad, Branston pickle, and scotch eggs. Easily make it vegan by ditching the cheese and eggs — and it’s still absolutely scrumptious.

Or how about a veggie Shepherd’s Pasty Pie?  It’s the classic shepherd’s pie, but with a cruelty-free twist. This pie is filled with meatless beef crumbles and a hearty veggie stew, served with a luscious stone ground mustard dip, apple beet salad, and chunky fries.
Catch more mouth-watering options on the menu: The Irish Stew offers a delectable vegan beef and potato stew with vegan bread and a side salad of cucumber, radish, and tomato. 

Over at the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade, who would have thought that jackfruit could be so versatile in vegan and vegetarian dishes? Packed with nutrients and antioxidants, it’s a win-win! And let’s not forget about the delicious cucumber and tomato side salad with vinaigrette that comes with this pie. Definitely a top contender in my book! 

Enjoy Butterbeer at Universal Orlando
Enjoy Butterbeer at Universal Orlando

Can I Eat Kosher At Islands Of Adventure?

Universal Orlando Resort offers a variety of restaurants that can arrange a Kosher meal to cater to your dietary preferences. You can choose from delicious options like salmon, chicken, or Salisbury steak. Just remember to give them a heads up.  At least 5 days notice is required to whip up your Kosher menu. Shoot them an email at with your reservation number, dining location, date and time, and the size of your party to arrange your kosher meals. And if you’re already booked with us, our Orlando Guru will take care of all the nitty gritty details for you. Easy peasy!

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