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Restaurant Frustration

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thats why i only go to places that do gluten-free meals because that way i know im not eating anything i cant, or like swiss chea because they dont put anything on there chicken,

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I never ask at places. I always bring my own food- fruit, snack bars, or chips. Sometimes, I even ask for plates to open my oranges on and different places have given me that. As long as we are with a paying customer I do not see the problem. Oh well!

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I AM SURPRISED by the responses! I have no problem bringing my own food into a restaurant. You can not send it back to the kitchen, of course! A few restaurants will only let you do it if you order something (even with the allergy. I have sometimes ordered a side salad and brought my own dressing for it. Or you can order a side that only costs a dollar or two and not eat it! But if one is rude or doesn't, I won't eat there. I tell everyone I know and we won't go there. They will not get my business! (There is a bowling alley that we will not go to for this purpose...we drive an additional half hour for one that allows us to bring in what we want and in return I make it clear to any other customers that it is only because I have an allergy because I would not want the owner to have to deal with others complaining!

Anyway, I would try telling the people you work with about this and try choosing better restaurants. A few that are common and actually HAVE GLUTEN FREE MENUS are Outback (MY FAVORITE!!!), Olive Garden (sorry no pasta), and Carrabas. All of these places allow you to bring in your own bread and I have always been very well taken care of at them! OUTBACK EVEN HAS A gluten-free BROWNIE!!!! I had my wedding reception there for that very reason! Good luck and God Bless....PS, you should try making homemade bread. I make great sandwiches now that doesn't have to be heated to taste good!!!

Like someone else said earlier ... once you ASK you put the waiter (on minimum wage) into a decision making process that they probably can't win in some places. It all depends on the owner/manager ... (of course) but in many cases they are not going to be asked to explain why they let you bring your own food ... they simply get a black mark.

Its unfortunate but true that most people employing people on minimum wage don't expect them to think for themselves .. (and this completely ignores the fact many people paying their way through college on minimum wage) .. its just simply that this is the food industry .. not a family business.

The key word being industry ... they make products and sell them and the fact you consume them on the premises doesn't change the model from buying a consumer item... its a case of how many customers can be in - buy - pay and vacate the seat ... and all this is then judged on a scale with other resto's in the chain.

However I agree totally on using the places that do at east cater for gluten-free for several reasons ...

The primary reason is they actually HEARD of it... if the food is safe all of the time is a different question but you are in a much better position dealing with a resto that at least acknowledges it.

The allowing food in position is IMHO far more complex... I think condiments and bread rolls is a different ballpark to taking in a meal...

Some experience and stats...

For the Hotel Business a major survey last year (weighted but not exclusive to US hotels) reported that 26% of Hotels lose money on F&B (Food and Beverages).

I know lot of private resto owners in Paris and the margins are very slim... and as reported in a UK food magazine a month or so ago (which I picked up in a hotel office while waiting for someone) .. The current fad in the UK of pubs offering food is not to do food but an act of desperation to draw in clients ... there was a scathing insider article on this in the previous month and I got the issue with responses...

All in all .. really the only people consistently making money in serving food seem to be those who treat it like an industry in the Adam Smith/Henry Ford sense of the word. The way to consistently make money is to get as many clients filling as many seats as possible for the shortest possible time. The seats are the production line of the auto plant... and the longer a client stays the lower the profit as the staff costs are static.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming the owners... like you and I they are just trying to make a living however to do this they have to be fairly hard nosed about business. One of the sadest things for me is that my favorite independent resto's are continually closing... going out of business ... and the ones I don't really like but ... keep on going.

It is not until you pay a premium (and a large one) to go to a top end starred resto that this model changes...

Good on ya for the bowling alley... and I do similar things.. the problem is the one closest to you still has clients... someone here had a great sig with a quote from Ghandi.... saying (paraphrasing) that it is the action not the reaction that is important even if we do not see the results in our time...

Well Ghandi was a good bloke..(read in English accent) no question ... but we can't all be Ghandi ....

I was in French class last Sat and we had one of those "If I were ...." questions. Someone chose "If I were a famous person I would be Ghandi" ... yeah ... perhaps .. I admire what he did but I most certainly wouldn't want to be Ghandi... I'm sure if he were celiac he would turn up and just sit outside on the sidewalk instead of eating but not everyone an be Ghandi or the world would stop turning....

I was off to Guam and wished it was Spanish, or Japanese or Hawaiian or English or even Chamorro.

Never could figure out what they were saying.

LOL... that pretty much sums it up.... I basically had to get 1/3 of an announcement in one language and another 1/3rd in the second and then guess what was missing... as I say not inspiring confidence when in a tin-box at 35,000'.

On the outward flight (Lon-Houston) my gluten-free meal was missing altogether .. whereas on the way back I got some carrots :D and several dubious items one of which plainly said wheat flour on the packet...do you trust the dressing when its unlabelled in this circumstance I ended up actually eating butter straight from the packet just for the calories ...

Honestly I wish they would just give up the pretense...

Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. (JC, De Bello Gallico Liber III/XVIII)

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