1. Partner with a gluten-free organization for menu creation.
Working with a reputable organization dedicated to raising celiac disease awareness and other forms of gluten intolerance gave Front Burner Brands an edge in establishing its restaurants as providers of safe gluten-free dishes. The GIG analyzed Front Burner Brands’ concepts, menus, products and ingredients by checking labels and nutritional facts to determine items that contained gluten and advised accordingly during the creation of the gluten-free menus. Using their recommendations, Front Burner Brands’ concepts were able to confidently provide guests with gluten-free menu offerings.
Partnering with a gluten-free organi-zation helps take the guesswork out of gluten-free menu creation. These organizations will go ingredient by ingredient within each dish on your menu and help establish which of your current dishes makes sense to offer in gluten-free versions.
The GIG has a number of local branches and partners within most of the continental U.S. (www.gluten.net/local-branches) and would be a great starting point when seeking a reliable partnership. There are a number of gluten-intolerance awareness groups, so review them thoroughly to choose a reputable one.
2. Develop a gluten-free version of your menu.
Once the potential allergy risks on your menu have been determined, start creating a gluten-free menu. To achieve success, it is vital to make sure that your menu includes real, delicious food rather than gluten-free dishes that seem to lack flavor or substance.
If you have eight appetizers on your menu, make one or two gluten-free. If you have 20 entrees, ensure that at least 6 are gluten-free. You want to be able to provide your guests with real offerings, not just a salad without the croutons or a hamburger without the bun. Integrate as many gluten-free foods as you can to stay true to the dish. If you can find an affordable gluten-free substitute, use it. On a national level, Burger 21 partnered with French Meadow Bakery to provide gluten-free buns with its gluten-free burgers.