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Monday, May 13, 2013

Blog Everyday in May 05132013

prompt-issue a public apology:

I want to publicly apologize for every restaurant out there that takes the time to develop a gluten free menu but doesn't feel the need to train their staff, their entire staff on what it means to offer gluten free dining options.  

This is crucial people!

Offering a gluten free menu is a wonderful step in the right direction for all of us who eat gluten free, not as a dieting decision, but as a response to celiac's disease or gluten intolerance.  And we greatly appreciate restaurants who allow us to feel normal, to eat out with friends and family, and let us be foodies!

However.... I have had many a bad experience where wait staff, front desk people, and even managers haven't been trained in the slightest to even know what being gluten free means!  I want to publicly apologize for you.... to all the people out there who need to be gluten free because their life depends on it... because your restaurant decided to be gluten free for whatever reason, to be trendy, follow the fad, because everyone else was doing it... and you didn't take the time to educate your people - you put your patrons at risk, serious risk.  Not only their health, but the risk they will never ever return to your restaurant and that they will tell everyone and anyone about their experience.  

If you have a gluten free menu...

1).  Explain to your staff what it means to be gluten free - google it, wiki it, what ever it takes to build a basic level of understanding.  It has nothing to do with being vegan, gluten free is not a political choice - it's about survival.  I'm not just choosing to be gluten free today, I'm gluten free for the rest of my life. 

2).  Make sure your wait staff knows, which items are gluten free and what the substitution are - I shouldn't have to be educating them on the menu at your restaurant.  It makes me nervous and it makes me hesitant that I'm going to get sick.  

3).  If the waitstaff is unsure, just let me come speak with the chef, it might just be easier.  

4).  If you do accidentally mess up my order, you can't just take the gluten off the top.  Please respect my health and just start my dish over.  I'm not going to make a big deal about - just help me out. 

5).  A heartfelt apology goes a long way... not a free dessert I can't eat... did we learn nothing from this entire experience?  I appreciate the gesture, but rubbing it deeper in my face and proving you still don't understand what's going on doesn't help the situation. 

6).  If you want to offer a gluten free menu - bring in someone to help educate your staff and make sure you are avoiding cross contamination.  It's that simple.  There are plenty of resources.  I can help you find them.

Let's work together to make gluten free dining a better experience for everyone :)

Always, J ♥