If you’ve ever heard about the trend of going gluten-free, you may have asked yourself “Are people really doing this, and how so?”. We’ve got our guide that can handily help you make steps towards having a gluten-free menu, but sometimes it is best to learn by example.
- Dunkin’ Donuts has started off slow, introducing two new items. Gluten-free variations on cinnamon sugar donuts and blueberry muffins are the first items to come from the major donuts and sweets chain, which admittedly is a place you won’t think of even possibly being gluten-free. As a reminder, just because the items are gluten-free does not mean they are healthy for you. They are still donuts and muffins.
- Chevys Fresh Mex, a Tex-Mex stylized restaurant chain primarily located in California, consulted with a nutritional guidance group on their choices. At their restaurants, they’ve begun selling soft corn tortillas with guacamole, garlic shrimp fajitas, and other items that fall under the gluten-free guidelines, but the most important things is that they’ve begun following cross-contamination guidelines. None of the gluten-free items are fried, as they don’t have a gluten-free fryer, and the staff has been trained to handle orders labeled “GF” for plating and food handling.
- Shaq (yes, the star of such classics as Shaq-Fu and Steel, alongside being a noted basketball player and giant human being) has launched his Love Shaq line of vodka, notably making them sugar and gluten-free. Much like Dunkin’ Donuts, despite being gluten-free, it is alcohol and will affect you appropriately.
- Domino’s Pizza has offered a gluten-free pizza, but is upfront on the fact that cross-contamination is a possibility in their chains. Such a candid note can be appreciated by consumers, versus the questioning of if their dishes truly are gluten-free. Rice flour, rice starch, and potato starch form the crust. It’s not for those who have to completely avoid gluten, but should be enjoyed by people who are only adverse to it.
- Regarding pizza, Chuck-E-Cheese has also taken on a gluten-free pizza, but in a different way. Alongside a chocolate cupcake, the two dishes based on rice flour have been tested in six locations. To avoid cross-contamination, they are pre-sealed, with the pizza even intended to be baked in it’s bag and only opened by the adult at the table it’s being delivered to.
- Fresh Brothers, another pizza chain, has taken extra steps to keep the gluten-free flour away from the regular flour, as flour can go airborne and contaminate. They also prepare the gluten-free pizzas in the cooler (instead of in the open-air area) and only use tools and bakeware that are specifically labeled for gluten-free production. They are cut on two layers of cardboard and are sealed for serving, even for dine-in customers.
- P.F. Chang’s China Bistro has had a gluten-free menu for years, and has a wheat-free version of soy sauce available upon request, alongside sauces that have gluten-free ingredients of things not normally as such. Woks and utensils are labeled for gluten-free dishes only, and are served on plates labeled as such.
Going gluten-free doesn’t seem too impossible now, does it? A few ingredient swaps and dedicated utensils, and you’ll be on your way to catering to a new clientele.