Restaurants are receiving more gluten-free requests from their customers, but many still don’t think the demand warrants creating a gluten-free menu or offering additional gluten-free items. If more gluten-free diners become more vocal about their needs, this may change.
Consider the following tips if you would like a restaurant to offer more gluten-free options:
• Join your local celiac community support group. Share the number of members with restaurant owners, chefs or managers. This number could shed light on a new market they can cater to if they offered gluten-free options. Offer to share information about their new gluten-free menu items with the support group via their newsletter or postings.
• Don’t be shy about letting the restaurant know about gluten-free food products that could substitute well for items they have. For example, bring in a package of your favorite gluten-free pasta as an option to consider having on hand to make their traditional spaghetti gluten-free upon request. Or suggest alternative flours such as rice flour or potato starch to use in place of wheat flour for dusting meats.
• Let them know that you would visit their restaurant more often, bring friends and family members with you, and spread the word to the local gluten-free community if they offered more gluten-free items on the menu. After presenting your case, the restaurant may be vocal about their interests to help restaurateurs take their establishments to the next level of gluten-free diet awareness and service.