It’s natural to have high expectations of the chefs, managers, and servers in the restaurant industry. These professionals take care of us when we are in their establishments, and we often expect them to know everything there is to know about food because it is their business. Yet, it is common to find gaps in knowledge about special diets, or in some cases, a complete breakdown in communication. As you embark upon the gluten-free lifestyle and learn more about the dietary requirements, so too are people in the restaurant industry, and it will take time for the them to reformat their service protocol to best accommodate their guests with special dietary needs. In the meantime, simply understand that you may have to explain your needs thoroughly and carefully when eating out.
Be prepared to talk about what gluten is and where it’s found. You will occasionally find yourself talking about the hidden gluten in various ingredients while getting bewildered expressions from your server. Also, be prepared to answer questions from the server or chef about the diet and if certain ingredients are gluten-free or not.
To make your dining experience as hassle free and safe as possible, you need to know your ingredients and do your research ahead of time. This way, you can best navigate your way safely around menus without having to rely on the staff to do it all for you. Think of educating your server or chef as an opportunity to help other dining guests because the more they know now, the better they can serve others later as well as you on your next visit.