About 3 million people suffer from celiac disease, with 49% saying they regularly sacrifice life experiences due to their gluten-free diet, according to Beyond Celiac, a nonprofit organization that educates people about the
disease. In the past, it wasn’t uncommon to hear stories of pizza lovers driving
for hours to find a gluten-free pizza. But as awareness has grown, more pizzerias
offer gluten-free options to keep those customers closer to home. Nowadays,
most celiac sufferers can enjoy a gluten-free pizza without ever leaving town.
But many pizzeria operators still have a lot to learn about gluten-free safety, the
risks of cross-contamination, and making celiac sufferers feel comfortable and
confident when they order from the menu. We spoke with celiac experts to find
out what you can do to put gluten-intolerant customers at ease.
1 Train staff in proper gluten-free protocol. Rebecca Moreland, director of Lincoln, Nebraska-based GREAT Kitchens and a gluten-free market expert
with Beyond Celiac, says it’s important to remind staff that celiac customers are
putting their trust in the answers they receive from servers. “Servers need to be
knowledgeable,” she says. “It doesn’t help to make it up. If they don’t know the
answer, they should get a manager or someone who does.”
Experts share seven tips for creating an enjoyable—and truly safe—
dining experience for gluten-free customers. By Liz Barrett