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MaryJones2

Upcharges For gluten-free Food At Restaurants

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I've noticed quite a few small/non-chain restaurants upcharging for gluten-free options such as pasta and sometimes as much as $5 a plate (and often side items are omitted for obvious reasons). I'm not a fan of this policy but don't generally complain about it because at least people are trying but I'm curious how others feel about this and if you say anything about it. I'd rather accept slightly smaller portions than pay an upcharge as I do understand gluten-free food costs more...

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I don't go out to eat often, but I accept these additional charges. Not everyone has them, but I can totally understand how much more they have to spend on something like gluten-free pasta compared to regular (especially because they probably pay way less for regular than I do, but don't get much discount on gluten-free). If it bothers you, you can probably get around it by eating something that is gluten-free and doesn't involve substitutions.

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It's one of those things at this point where you just have to "grin and bear it". Specialty gluten free foods do cost more, which is something I understand. I usually only choose these dishes if it's something I'd really have to go out of my way to prepare at home, though. I'd rather pay an extra few bucks for a complex gluten free dish than for a hamburger bun I could have purchased myself at Whole Foods.

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I've really only noticed it for gluten free pizza. It makes sense to me--the gluten-free crusts are probably more expensive than the flour crusts and then they have to keep a separate workstation for gluten-free only toppings in another room (at least this is how they said they do it at Mellow Mushroom). Unless they sell many gluten-free pizzas a day those toppings and the more expensive crusts go unused and eventually will have to be tossed. The crusts are probably frozen, but even frozen crusts have a best by date. There's a lot of waste in the restaurant industry anyway, food that doesn't sell in high volume is a huge expense for restuarants to keep on the menu and allow to take up extra space in their freezer/cooler. We can help keep the costs down by making sure we support the businesses that do gluten-free food well. I can't afford to get gluten-free pizza every week, but I plan to order several gluten-free pizzas for the Super Bowl from Z-pizza next week. :)

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I guess it would depend on what I am ordering. I know gluten free pasta costs more so I'll pay more. But if I am just getting a hamburger patty and a baked potato, I shouldn't have to pay more!

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