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  • Scott Adams

    UK Restaurant Owner Mocks Celiac for Gluten-Free Request and Poor Tripadvisor Review

    Scott Adams
    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      When she asked the waiter about some menu choices, she said he told her he was "too busy to check with a chef."

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    Caption: Image: Google Maps

    Celiac.com 09/15/2020 - A restaurant owner in the UK is catching heat for mocking a celiac customer for her gluten-free food request, and then going on Tripadvisor to call her "selfish," and "spoiled," and sarcastically apologizing for not being able to "cater for her 'whims and demands.'"

    Yorkshire resident Natasha Tunmore left a negative, one star review on Tripadvisor, complaining that the wait staff at Zammuto Steak and Grill House in Doncaster were dismissive about her gluten-free request.

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    But rather than apologizing, owner Giuseppe Zammuto left an acerbic reply, blaming Tunmore for being pushy, and blaming the restaurant program called, Eat Out to Help Out, for leaving his restaurant "busier than they'd ever been."

    Anyone with celiac disease, who has had confusion or resistance from a restaurant owner or staff about a gluten-free request or question, can likely empathize with Tunmore.

    For her part, Tunmore claims that she "contacted the restaurant in advance to check that they are able to cater for this before booking," and was told it would be fine. "Upon arrival all was well and we got our seats and drinks quickly," she added. 

    However, when she asked the waiter about some menu choices, she said he told her he was "too busy to check with a chef." 

    She claims that she "told him he was making [her] feel uncomfortable" and she had never experienced that attitude before. "If this had happened to me when I had been newly diagnosed I am sure I would have burst into tears. All of this was very abrupt and intimidating."

    Tunmore claims that the waiter only checked once she pushed the matter further, and told her she could only have the blue cheese sauce.

    For his part, Zammuto is sticking to his guns. "It just happened that we made a mistake," he said, blaming the problem on Tunmore, for listening to a young, inexperienced waitress rather than the more experienced waiter.

    Zammuto claims his comments were overblown, and not intended for celiacs. "I didn't mean it like we don't want to serve celiacs or people with allergies. It's not that we don't want to do it...[the comments were] no way meant for celiacs, it was just meant for her personally. I meant that she was out of order to tell me I don't know what I'm doing or I don't care, because I do care."

    Zammuto said that, "In a nutshell, the lady in question didn't care about the other diners but was selfish in her actions regardless of whether she was a celiac or not."

    Perhaps the incident was the result of a misunderstanding. Perhaps the restaurant was unusually busy. Perhaps Tunmore was somehow insensitive. However, Zammuto's actions seem unhelpful.

    Have you ever had a bad experience with restaurant staff or owners when trying to order gluten-free food as a celiac? If so, please share your story below in our comments section.

    Stay tuned for more on this and related stories.

    Read more in the DailyMail.co.uk


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  • About Me

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.

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