- Selection – Ask appropriate questions to put everyone at ease. Consider visiting a restaurant during off-peak hours when more attention can be devoted to a conversation with management and staff.
- Call ahead – Ask if the restaurant is able to accommodate a gluten-free request safely. Does the restaurant kitchen and staff understand how to manage cross contamination risk?
- Address the issue – “I need your help. I am on a strict medical gluten-free diet. Please help me find my best choices on the menu.”
- Make it personal -- Introduce yourself to the wait staff. Address staff by name. A gluten-free menu or informed staff member is the perfect starting point for questions. Develop an ongoing relationship. Thank everyone responsible for successful dining. Support restaurants supporting your dietary requirements.
- Be willing to walk – When a restaurant seems unable to accommodate a gluten-free diner or the perceived risk is too high, look for another option or eat at a later.
- Special requests – Be vocal about the health risk involved. Dialogue directly with the kitchen staff preparing the meal. Ask specific knowledge based questions about food preparation. Question sauces, dressings, marinades, breading and coatings to minimize risk. .Ask to see questionable food labels or leave it out.
- Be cautious – Cross contamination in the kitchen occurs on grills, griddles, fryers, with serving utensils, within shared ingredients.
- “Roll” with it – An experience can be enhanced by bringing gluten-free dressing, sauce or bread or bread products. A few gluten-free crackers or a roll can help make a meal more satisfying and enjoyable. Cultivate a good sense of humor.
- Be gracious – Thank all responsible for your successful dining experience. Support restaurants supporting your dietary requirements. Return often to the restaurants making gluten-free dining more enjoyable for all!
Gluten-Free Dining Resources
- Do your research Local CSA Chapters are there for you.
- Celiac Sprue Association Dining Card – This card can be handed to the server and delivered to the kitchen staff to pass along important risk assessment information about preparing a meal gluten-free.
- Celiac Sprue Association Thank you cards - These cards are a great way to thank a restaurant for providing great service and a safe gluten-free dining experience!
- Celiac Sprue Association Gluten-free Guide Poster - A poster to assist institutional and commercial food services in risk assessment as well as preparing and serving gluten-free food.
- GlutenFreeTravelSite – CSA has partnered with Celiac Sprue Association Benefactor GlutenFreeTravelSite to build online resources. CSA members add reviews of restaurants, grocery stores, cruise ships, and hotels/resorts. See map below and CSA Benefactor Member GlutenFreeTravelSite View CSA member recommendations
- Triumph Dining Restaurant guide - A CSA Benefactor Member, Triumph Dining produces a Restaurant Dining Guide listing over 6,500 restaurants as well as a dining card and grocery shopping guide.
- Gluten-Free Passport - This CSA Benefactor Member has developed several book series as well as mobile applications. The book series Let's Eat Out!, educates individuals, family, friends, health care and restaurant professionals about eating out and traveling gluten and allergen-free.
Other dining News: May16, 2012 Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) and Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) have reviewed the promotional materials from Domino's Pizza regarding their gluten free crust. Domino's Pizza materials state that the gluten free pizza offered is not recommended for those individuals with celiac disease. CDF and CSA recommend that individuals with celiac disease carefully review all representations made by gluten free food purveyors before determining if a food is appropriate for their personal diet, including those made by Domino's. For more information, please click here. Dominos’s Pizza FAQ