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Coeliac Awareness Week: catering for gluten-free guests

Coeliac Awareness Week: catering for gluten-free guests

Coeliac Awareness Week runs from 8-14 May 2017, with the charity Coeliac UK launching their ‘Gluten Freevolution’ campaign, encouraging people to share their experiences of gluten-free food whether dining out or opting for grab-and-go.

The charity estimates that 1.3 million people in Britain are following a gluten-free diet, with 1 in 100 people suffering from coeliac disease and as many as half a million still undiagnosed. As an increasingly common dietary requirement, food operators are already aware of the importance of including quality gluten-free dishes on their menus.

Compared to other outlets – including pubs and fast-food operators – our survey found that 72% of guests feel that restaurants currently provide the best range of gluten-free dishes. When asked whether they felt that operators were communicating the ingredients in meals sufficiently, 53% said yes, but felt that more could be done.

Many operators have already taken the initiative on this. Pieminister have increased their gluten-free offering in recognition of Coeliac Awareness Week, increasing their pie options and adding gluten-free beer. Wadworth’s 53 managed pubs and Hard Rock Café’s worldwide are also now gluten-free accredited.

Coeliac UK have released guidance entitled Catering gluten free: how to get it right to coincide with Coeliac Awareness Week, offering advice on managing issues such as cross-contamination and how to ensure effective communication between front and back of house staff. 

For those following a gluten-free diet, there is a sense that there is room for improvement across the board. As this becomes an increasingly common dietary requirement, improving staff knowledge and training them in offering a flexible approach to allergies will empower them to maintain great guest experience. 

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