Adding gluten-free options or creating a gluten-free menu is an opportunity for chefs to think outside the box and get creative. Even without the most popular grains (wheat, barley, and rye) there are still many grains to cook with such as rice, corn, millet, sorghum, buckwheat, and quinoa. There are also alternatives for flour products. Alternatives include rice flour, cornmeal, and almond flour. The gluten-free movement has even pushed many manufacturers to develop gluten free mixes like pizza dough.
Call your suppliers and make a list of the gluten-free products that they offer. Then have your chef(s) pull together ideas on new menu items to satisfy your gluten-free customer – chicken tenders breaded in rice flour and cooked in a gluten-free fryer is a great start. Don’t forget to include alternatives to dressings! Take advantage of naturally gluten-free products and pair them as side items. These include vegetables, fruit, and nuts.
Once you have conquered the new menu items, don’t forget the most important part – letting your customers know! Add a gluten-free icon next to the products on your menu or create an entirely separate menu if you have enough products. Make sure your staff asks the table if there are any food allergies so they can point out the right products or offer the separate menu.
Don’t leave your gluten-free customers in the dark. Satisfying their needs could help you gain a loyal, gluten-free customer base that comes to you frequently for a delicious night out.