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More than Half of All Chain Restaurants to Offer Gluten-free Dishes

Celiac.com 11/06/2014 - The results of restaurant supply-chain co-op SpenDifference’s menu price survey indicate that more than half of all restaurant chains plan to offer gluten-free menu items in 2014.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons--CW221The third menu price survey said nine percent of surveyed restaurants are already offering organic products, 36 percent use local products, 53 percent offer light- and low-calorie options, and 55 percent have gluten-free items.

The report echoes earlier reports that the strong and steady uptick in the demand for gluten-free foods, and is reinforced by SpenDifference president and chief executive officer Maryanne Rose, who says that the growing demand for low-calorie and gluten-free menu items will “be with us for a long time.

Many specialty restaurants, now offers gluten-free menus. To get an idea of your gluten-free options, Gluten-free Guide HQ offers a good list of 75 Essential Gluten Free Restaurant Menus from a number of major food purveyors that runs the gamut from fast food and casual to more upscale.

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21 Responses:

 
julie
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
10 Nov 2014 11:07:54 AM PST
A gluten-free menu is not enough. Many restaurants have so contaminated their kitchens that gluten-free is no help. Example Red Lobster. I used to eat there no problem. They brought in new chefs put in a gluten free menu and any thing I eat sickens me. Nothing I like is on the GF menu.

 
Kay
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said this on
10 Nov 2014 1:29:07 PM PST
Still need to be vigilant for cross-contamination. Many of these have offered a GF menu, but don't necessarily understand the need to cook separately with separate (and clean) cooking surfaces and utensils.

 
Laura
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said this on
15 Nov 2014 8:12:59 AM PST
I so agree...for those folks who just avoid gluten they have no problem, but for those of us who have celiac cross-contamination is a huge issue!

 
Margie
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said this on
30 Nov 2014 6:30:33 PM PST
Excellent advice-thanks for reminding!

 
Eleanor
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said this on
10 Nov 2014 6:38:47 PM PST
Thank you for the valuable information!

 
Dana "aka Galley Wench Tales" Greyson
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said this on
11 Nov 2014 4:11:26 AM PST
Awesome.

Now if only that happens internationally. We're about to spend the next 2 years sailing from Florida to Australia and can only carry so much food from the States.

 
Ann
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said this on
11 Nov 2014 5:50:10 AM PST
I'd like to know which of these restaurants keeps a gluten free section in their kitchens in order to stop cross contamination. Just having gluten free foods on the menu isn't enough.

 
Joanne
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
11 Nov 2014 6:55:18 AM PST
I'm pretty tired of restaurants offering "gluten free items" without also guaranteeing gluten-free preparation.

This article was really no help at all.

 
Mary
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said this on
12 Nov 2014 10:22:13 AM PST
Joanne, I hope this means that awareness of proper preparation is also increasing--a few years back most restaurants didn't offer anything. It is nice to have more options.

 
Maris
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said this on
12 Nov 2014 8:59:13 PM PST
Some GF menus have disclaimers on them noting that cross-contamination can occur, often in the fine print. Some menus don't say, so it's always good to ask and to play it safe. I agree with others here who have pointed out that more GF chains is not necessarily going to help those of us who require GF because of gluten intolernace or allergy, unless there is a commitment by those restaurants to proper training of staff. It would be helpful if restaurants made a point of distinguishing whether they are following GIG or similar training and whether they have separate prep areas, etc. I wish there was a required certification system for Gluten Free safety for restaurants, similar to the "certified gluten free" label that some of us look for on foods. Right now it seems like many restaurants that offer Gluten Free are just catering to the casual gluten-avoider.

 
Jen
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said this on
14 Nov 2014 11:29:29 AM PST
I agree with this comment. The government should start to regulate restaurants somehow... you can't just say something is allergy free or gluten free and it's not.
GIG is great! I've gotten sick at the GIG rated places too but at least it's usually safer.

 
Steve
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said this on
13 Nov 2014 12:54:05 PM PST
Its nice to see GF menus or options, however, proceed with caution. I don't think many, if any, restaurants understand what GF really means, or know about cross contamination. You should expect cross contamination when ordering a GF item at a restaurant. Disclaimers to that effect are usually found on GF menus. Asking a few questions about food preparation will reveal that they don't know what they are doing.

 
Mary Jane
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
14 Nov 2014 11:28:30 AM PST
Most non-gluten-free people don't get it! Just start asking questions. Even those in the food business that are supposedly giving you gluten-free. Cross contamination is a problem too.
And why does our food have to be extra expensive in restaurants, when "Real Food" is naturally GF and they don't have to use lots of ADDED things to make our stuff? Food For Thought... AND there ya go...

 
Ariana Rodriguez
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said this on
14 Nov 2014 12:29:24 PM PST
Sure, it's great that restaurants are offering a gluten-free menu but they do not care or take any precautions to avoid cross-contamination. If they offer these gluten free menus.... shouldn't they follow the new FDA regulations that went into effect as of August 2014?

Even with the new regulations I have not seen an improvement and the chefs just laugh at me when I ask them detailed questions about the preparation of my meals. Until they learn to have some respect towards the Celiac community and have proper gluten free training on kitchen preparations to avoid cross contamination, I refuse to believe anything like this. I want to see a "certified gluten free" label in order for me to feel safe.


Example, I took a trip to New York and they have a truly gluten free pizza place called Mozzarelli's that had a giant sign in their establishment that read "gluten free certified"...and you know what, I didn't get sick for weeks on end. No place should throw the gluten free label around if they cannot actually keep it safe for our sake.

 
Melissa
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said this on
14 Nov 2014 1:14:25 PM PST
Always educational to ask if their gluten free food is safe for celiacs. Some outright say no, others take more precautions if they know you need GF in order to not get sick. And always, if something goes wrong with your order, or there's any mix up at all, don't eat it. Even the safest restaurants on the list will occasionally mix something up (unless they are 100% gluten free).

 
Kristin
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said this on
14 Nov 2014 2:57:18 PM PST
To the person who thinks Mozzarelli's on 23rd street in Manhattan is totally GF, you're wrong. The GF slices/pies are up top. The "regular" pies are on the bottom. Elon and the other chefs there are a godsend to a celiac, and an example of doing GF right in a not fully GF environment. They have been doing GF for a few years now, and used to to "gluten free Sunday" where once a month all the food was GF. They even made Zeppoles. Mozzarelli's is a case of a dedicated chef and we'll trained staff and defined GF procedures/utensils/dedicated space. I believe they started because a family member was diagnosed as Celiac. A good resource to find GF options is "find me gluten free". I've used it nationwide and it's been really helpful when I'm not at home. Its a free app, I have it on my galaxy. I don't know if it's in Itunes or not. The app has accurate celiac reviews and places are rated "Celiac Safe" or just gluten free. I've found some new places to eat, and avoided others because of that app. Anyway, while this article isn't really helpful, it could be worse.

 
jacquie
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said this on
14 Nov 2014 3:02:11 PM PST
The only restaurant I trust is Pizzeria Uno that get their GF pizzas frozen, and they reheat them sealed. There's also a seafood restaurant in Chatham that only offers GF, all their fried foods are dipped in corn flour, and deep fried, so there's no contamination at all,
Cannot trust any other place

 
Ann
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said this on
14 Nov 2014 7:14:55 PM PST
Most of these "gluten free' options are just a matter of telling us to order a burger without a bun, to not have anything with breading or pasta, or other such self-obvious things. In no way does having a "gluten free" menu mean that they go the extra mile to offer GF bread, pasta, or take a single step into giving us good options. I cannot get excited over a restaurant that expects me to conform to their menu.

 
carlene
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said this on
15 Nov 2014 12:46:14 AM PST
It's just not safe to eat anywhere gluten free, I ask for the manger and I still get sick. Really Scary when you are traveling and have to stop and eat. We went to Cracker Barrel. And I only had a salad and within 10 minuets , I was sick...my husband wanted to leave me there I was so sick and we were 10 hours from home. I ate at Apple Bees, they promised me everything would be Gluten free and I was sick for 3 days....wrote to main office, no one did anything. Didn't even offer my $9.99 back. No one cares...I own my Own Bakery that is Not gluten free but I bake some stuff and tell my customers I bake in a different part of my bakery and try to be very very careful. I ask them Not to eat my GF baked gooks if they are super sensitive. I work with flour everyday...I have had my own bakery for over 20 years so I have to just hope things don't get worse for me because at 59 I don't want to go,out and work for anyone else..I wish everyone that claims to serve GF would be more careful, it scares the hell out of me to go out and eat. I tell the waitress 20 times to ask the cooks in the kitchen to please be very careful not to make me sick from cross containamatin and ruin the next three days for me. Most don't care..and the price increase for us is just awful...I wish the government would step in and stop the madness...we can afford it. Thanks for listening to my rant...so tired of us GF people getting abused day after day...

 
Kathie
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said this on
15 Nov 2014 5:39:44 AM PST
I agree with all the comments above. I am thankful for how far we have come, but we still need to move farther into educating the food industry that cross-contamination is serious. I am tired of being sick most often when I eat out. I am tired of the disclaimers of "gluten friendly". What does that even mean? If I told someone I had a peanut allergy you can bet they would definitely ensure that peanuts do not touch my meal - why is gluten any different. I would prefer the food industry to be honest with me and say I can not promise so that I can make an informed decision. Again we have come along ways but please continue to advocate to address cross contamination. I would be very interested to know if the study included a survey on the individuals that ate at the restaurant and what their experience was. This would ensure that they are truly able to meet the needs of gluten free diets.

 
Kristy

said this on
02 Dec 2014 12:04:17 PM PST
Yeah, not surprised at all that over half of restaurants these days have **BULL$---** Gluten Free Menus! 99% percent of supposed gluten-free menus are a lie. Of those that claim to have a GF menu, 1% or less can actually deliver a safe meal to a celiac.

I'm also tired of this crap. We should be able to eat out and lead a normal life. I'm sick of being sick and told how ' "easy" I have it because of all these damn poseurs when the truth is that it's anything BUT easy. In fact after 9 years, the more popular the GF diet gets and the more dietary backlash we get for suffering from this disease, the harder it gets to eat out, travel, etc. UGH.




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