On a local level, it is helpful to explore community partners such as reputable local bakeries to provide gluten-free breads, desserts and more. Many Melting Pot locations partner with local gluten-free bakeries to provide additional fondue dippers like gluten-free bread, brownies and pound cake. In many cases, guests suggested these bakeries to local restaurant owners, so guest surveys are key to earning buy-in.
While creating gluten-free offerings may not be a key goal when coming up with new menu items, it should be considered. You should always take into account whether gluten-free diners can enjoy a dish. If yes, great! If not, think about what small adjustments could be made to maintain the flavor profile and include these on the gluten-free menu. If you can make some subtle changes to the recipe to accommodate gluten-free dietary restrictions, then do it. Your guests will appreciate the extra effort.
However, if changing too many ingredients changes the flavor profile or increases food costs too much, then it does not make sense to put that dish on your menu.
3. Identify gluten-containing ingredients in your kitchen and isolate them.
Dedicate a section on your line only to gluten-free food preparation. That way, your line cooks can prepare gluten-free items without worrying about cross-contamination.
It is also important to separate items in your storage and walk-ins to make sure there is no cross-contamination. Usually, produce and most items in your walk-in do not contain gluten, but many dry goods have gluten, so you’ll need to look closely at your dry storage and separate items to protect against cross-contamination.
After working with the GIG, The Melting Pot decided to minimize risk to gluten-free diners by completely eliminating flour from the kitchen shortly after the gluten-free menu launched. All of The Melting Pot’s cheese fondues are now made using cornstarch, which is gluten-free, instead of wheat flour, as before. Making this tweak to all cheese fondue recipes didn’t impact the flavor profile of the dishes while creating a safer environment for food preparation.