I went out to eat this weekend and something jumped into my head that really got me thinking. Many restaurants are now serving gluten-free meals. They recognize there is a big issue out there and they are now catering to the many people out there that can’t or won’t eat gluten. I like that. I am happy for that.
I work in the hospitality industry. Maybe one day I will own my own restaurant. What I know is that when you open a restaurant and create a menu, you can’t keep that same menu forever. You have to change it over time to keep up with trends and what the customers want. Many restaurants do this and are now moving to keep up with the gluten-free movement. This is a good move on their part. There are even gluten-free restaurants which I think is great.
Now, here is my rant. I went into a big national chain restaurant (who will remain nameless) and they had a gluten free menu. I loved it because items I thought had gluten in them on the regular menu turned out to be gluten-free. I placed my order (my wife ordered from the regular menu) and then they brought out the bread. Before I went GF I loved their bread. Now, I looked at it and drooled knowing I can’t touch it. On another day I was in a diner and again, the bread basket comes out with delicious looking items.
With this big push to be Gluten Free sensitive the one thing that hasn’t really changed is the bread basket. As anyone on a GF diet knows, this item is a major no-no. Bread is a big component of gluten. So why isn’t anyone focusing on this item. This is one item to change very easily. There are tons of GF breads and rolls out there. There are GF bread sticks and crackers. Why can’t restaurants include these items for us GF customers. Why are we forced to either drool over the regular bread baskets or sit there alone. Now, I am not asking these restaurants to make their own. I know there are many places that are real small and don’t have the kitchen space. I am fine with that. But you can buy them and put them in their own basket for us GF dieters.
What also gets me is in the chain restaurant they at least asked if we wanted the bread. In many places they don’t ask. I know first hand bread costs have gone up. If they would stop bringing out the bread automatically they would probably save money which they can spend on the GF bread.
Eating out in a restaurant should be an enjoyable experience. I used to love going out to different places. Since going GF I enjoy it less and my selection of restaurants have decreased. Being teased at a restaurant makes the experience even worse.
Ok, rant over. And now I want a slice of bread.
Do you trust that when a restaurant flaunts their “GF Menu” that they are actually preparing it in a separate kitchen? I am so suspect on this..
Honestly, I am sure there is a lot of cross contamination. I keep that in mind. I am GF by choice so for me it isn’t a big issue but I know for many it is. I would love to open a restaurant with 2 kitchens..one GF and one regular.
We rarely go out any more, but when we do go to a nicer restaurant, it is so hard to watch my husband eat through a little loaf of bread right in front of me. And of course, the one place he always wants to go when we go out has that little loaf of warm, fresh bread that I wish I could eat. I am not sure a GF alternative would be much better for me, sometimes I have a problem with those. But asking before bringing out the bread would be a good idea regardless.
If the restaurant has already thought of the gluten issue then it’s not a big step to have gluten free bread or alternative on offer. And it’s definitely no biggie to ask…
I agree it isn’t too hard to ask. However, if I don’t go there regularly then I would probably forget to ask (as I would probably do it in email to their owner/head office, etc). Most places around me that really focus on the GF issue will advertise if their bread is GF. But, you are right…it doesn’t hurt to just ask.
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